Pediatrician participation in medicaid: 1978 to 1989

B. K. Yudkowsky*, J. D C Cartland, S. S. Flint

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Optimal pediatrician participation in the Medicaid program is essential if the full benefits of recent eligibility expansions are to be realized. A 1989 national survey of the members of the American Academy of Pediatrics (n = 940), designed as a follow-up to similar studies conducted in 1978 and 1983, was an examination of the factors that influence pediatrician participation. Between 1978 and 1989: (1) basic participation (treating any Medicaid benficiaries) declined to 77% from 85%; (2) limited participation (seeing only some Medicaid beneficiaries who request care) increased from 26% to 39.4%; and (3) extent of participation (the percentage of a pediatrician's patients who are Medicaid beneficiaries) increased from 15.7% to 19.4%. A dichotomous conceptualization of participation (restricted or unrestricted) was developed. By this definition, only 56% of pediatricians allowed comparable access to their practices for both Medicaid and private patients. Low reimbursement and slow payments discouraged participation. Medicaid reimbursement to pediatricians was approximately equal to their overhead costs. However, a high degree of willingness to care for Medicaid children remains if fees are increased to within 11% to 16% of the private market level. Policy options to enhance participation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-577
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990


  • access
  • Medicaid
  • participation
  • pediatricians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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