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Medicaid services can vary by geographical area. Some areas have many doctors and hospitals, in addition to other health care providers, who will take Medicaid, while other places will not leave people with many choices. There are numerous facilities reluctant to take Medicaid because compensation is lower, and can sometimes be slower. However, this doesn’t mean that patients have no choice, and they can start looking at their options by finding out which local physicians and facilities accept Medicaid.
A good searching location is the United State Health and Human Services website. This allows people to conduct searches for doctors in their area, and they can search by specialty. A search will provide people with a list of names, which gives some options on who to contact.
People may want to start asking around for recommendations for the best health facilities on practitioners in their area, as based on the list of available providers. Ask friends or family, or others in the community if they’ve heard of any of the folks listed. Another way to go is to ask a Medicaid or welfare caseworker which doctors they’ve heard of as highly recommended by others. In their work, these people may definitely have heard lots of opinions on different Medicaid services, and may have a working relationship with some of the Medicaid providers.
There are some “best bet” choices for certain Medicaid services. Those who live in areas with state universities that have medical schools and hospitals attached to them are fortunate. Hospitals associated with state run medical schools tend to have the most access to newer technologies and methods, and most are required by law to serve people with Medicaid. Not only would these hospitals be potentially better choices for surgeries or procedures, but they also may be the best place to search for Medicaid services from specialists that work there. Some of these facilities may also have extensive outpatient clinics or urgent care centers that serve the community.
It is the case that certain Medicaid programs provide their services in a different way. Under some plans like the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and in some of the US states, people who join Medicaid join a health insurance company that provides them with services. This may actually increase the number of providers available, because payment to doctors is orchestrated through the “middleman” insurance company, instead of directly through the state. In this case, people may have several doctors and facilities to choose from, and in some states people find this a much better option than using standard state medical insurance and hunting for Medicaid services.
Like any health insurance plan, coverage can be limited to those providers contracted with the insurance company. Thus people may again need a list of providers to start searching for word of mouth recommendations with others they know. When unsure, there are few Internet sites that charge to research specific doctors and there are a few free sites that may offer “grades” of doctors or medical facilities. Other searches that can be helpful include those that rate the best hospitals in the country. Finding a provider associated with that hospital may help ensure better service.