Medicaid Policy, Physician Behavior, and Health Care for the Low-Income Population
Responding to concerns about the health of poor children and mothers, Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women was expanded during the 1980s and 1990s and Medicaid fees paid to physicians for prenatal care and delivery were increased. We examine physician responses to these policy changes using data on physician practices. We find that expanded eligibility for Medicaid did increase access to physician services. Contrary to some earlier findings, however, increases in access are only apparent for the physicians in "public" institutions such as public clinics and hospital clinics; we find no evidence that increases in eligibility increase access to private, office-based physicians.
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