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U-M Research Indicates Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollees Meeting Key Requirement

Monday, July 27, 2015  
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New research from the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation indicates the availability of primary care appointments has improved for people with Medicaid in the first months after the state launched the Healthy Michigan Plan.


According to a University of Michigan Health System news release,secret shoppers called hundred of clinics posing as new Healthy Michigan Plan (HMP) enrollees looking for a routine checkup with a new provider. Of those who had Medicaid, 55% of clinics offered an appointment after the HMP rollout. Prior to the rollout, 49% of clinics offered an appointment. Furthermore, of the secret shoppers posing as patients with private insurance, 88% of clinics said they would take them prior to the HMP while 86% said they would after the HMP rollout.

The research paper, Primary Care Appointment Availability for New Medicaid Patients Increased After Medicaid Expansion in Michigan, measured how easy it was for HMP enrollees to fulfill a key provision of their new coverage: the requirement to see a primary care provider within three months of obtaining coverage. 

The initial expectation was if clinics were getting full due to Medicaid expansion and an increase in private insurance under the Affordable Care Act, researchers would see a decrease in availability of appointments and longer wait times. Instead, the opposite happened. 

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Source: University of Michigan Health System

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