New Mexico appointment times lag for Medicaid patients

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – State government analysts say low-income Medicaid patients in New Mexico are waiting on average from three weeks to nearly two months to get an appointment with a doctor.

The Legislative Finance Committee on Wednesday published a survey on appointments for new patients enrolled in Medicaid. It says the results and other studies raise concerns about barriers to health care access among the poor and disabled.

Medicaid enrollment has grown by two-thirds in the state’s main metropolitan area since Republican Gov. Susana Martinez agreed to expand coverage in 2014 under the federal Affordable Care Act. In some rural areas, enrollment has doubled.

Recent state reports show that Medicaid patients are increasingly resorting to hospital emergency rooms for relatively minor conditions that can be treated at urgent care clinics or doctor offices.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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