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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah is ranked near the bottom nationally when it comes to reimbursing doctors who serve Medicaid patients.
That's according to health department officials, who say the ranking is embarrassing and a potentially dangerous statistic. Utah ranks 47th out of 50 states.
Health officials say Utah's low reimbursement ranking could leave many medical providers opting NOT to treat low-income patients.
Doctors told lawmakers yesterday the low rates are already leaving them unable to afford to take on Medicaid patients. Some physicians say they'll continue to treat their existing Medicare and Medicaid patients but will NOT accept new patients.
Officials say Medicare reimburses ten percent less than what private insurance pays, while Medicaid is 30 percent less.
Dentists say it's even worse for dental procedures. For that reason, few Utah dentists will even treat Medicaid patients.
Information from: Deseret Morning News
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)