Many people know that finding medical professionals who take Medicaid can be a difficult process. Though some doctors are happy to serve people with this form of US government insurance, others determine that the low compensation offered with Medicaid or the problems in getting compensation in a timely fashion can make sustaining a practice at a profitable level very difficult. It is therefore challenging to find the best Medicaid pediatricians, because there may not be many choices available. This does depend much on where people live; those in more populous areas will have a greater selection of doctors who take Medicaid.
Access to the Internet can help in locating pediatricians who take Medicaid by searching on the US Health and Human Services Department website by geographical area, while limiting the search to pediatricians only. There are two classes of pediatricians listed: participants and non-participants. Participant pediatricians will usually take new patients with Medicaid with very little trouble, while non-participants can accept or deny services to any patient with Medicaid on a case-by-case basis.
When you have compiled a list of potential pediatricians, you can then go about choosing one that will be most appropriate for their child or children. You can certainly contact those doctors who are non-participants to see if they’ll accept Medicaid patients, but you may want to start with participant physicians.
The first step in assessing quality of these physicians may be to start asking friends or family about which pediatricians they use. You can also ask around in settings like churches, mom’s groups, parenting classes or at schools to see which pediatricians seem to be preferred by local members of the community. This has always been an excellent way to get doctor recommendations, and it’s likely that you'll find several pediatricians who are most recommended or at least get some opinions on the skill of some of the doctors on your list.
When you want to go deeper and find out more about a doctor, you can use various Internet sites that charge money to provide background information about physicians, and that may give information if the physician has been sued for malpractice. This is costly, and a little hunting on the Internet might be able to uncover some of this information for free. There are some free services where people rate doctors, but ratings are voluntary and won’t necessarily tell much about a physician’s quality.
Instead of this elaborate search, you may simply want to schedule an appointment with one of the ones most recommended by word of mouth and interview that doctor. Find out about the office hours and policies, whether the office is open on weekends, how hard or easy it is to get an appointment, and ask some basic questions about medical philosophy. It might take several interviews to find the right pediatrician, and it’s a good idea to look for those who seem most patient, interact well with children, and answer questions thoroughly.
When participating Medicaid pediatricians don’t seem to be a good fit, it may be time to investigate those who accept Medicaid on a case-by-case basis. You can contact their offices and find out which doctors will accept patients who take Medicaid. This process can be lengthier, and it might be a humbling experience that involves some pleading or explanation as to why a doctor should consider accepting a Medicaid patient.
There are many excellent general practitioners and doctors of osteopathy, sometimes just called family doctors, who treat whole families. Children do not necessarily need to see a pediatrician to get excellent care. If you aren’t having luck finding a good Medicaid pediatrician, you may want to interview general and family practitioners too, as this can be a good place to find a great doctor for the whole family.