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Psychiatrists Accept Less Insurance Than Other Doctors

Findings based on acceptance rates of Medicaid, Medicare, non-capitated private insurance

FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Psychiatrists' acceptance of all types of insurance is significantly below that of other physician specialists, according to a study published online Dec. 11 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Tara F. Bishop, M.D., M.P.H., from the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and colleagues used data from a national survey of office-based physicians in the United States to calculate rates of acceptance of private non-capitated insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid by psychiatrists. These rates were compared to physicians in other specialties.

The researchers found that in 2009 to 2010 the percentage of psychiatrists who accepted private non-capitated insurance was significantly lower than that seen in physicians in other specialties (55.3 versus 88.7 percent), a decline of 17.0 percent since 2005 to 2006. In 2009 to 2010 the percentage of psychiatrists who accepted Medicare was significantly lower than that seen in other specialties (54.8 versus 86.1 percent), a decline of 19.5 percent since 2005 to 2006. Psychiatrists' Medicaid acceptance rates in 2009 to 2010 had not declined significantly since 2005 to 2006, but were lower than those for other physicians (43.1 versus 73.0 percent). There were regional differences in acceptance of private non-capitated insurance, with psychiatrists in the Midwest most likely to accept (85.1 percent) versus 48.5 percent in Northeast, 43 percent in South, and 57.8 percent in West.

"Acceptance rates for all types of insurance were significantly lower for psychiatrists than for physicians in other specialties," the authors write.

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