Child specialty referrals harder with Medicaid, CHIP

August 10, 2011

Physicians find it more difficult to refer children in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program to specialty care than they do privately insured children, according to the Government Accounting Office.

Physicians find it more difficult to refer children in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to specialty care than they do privately insured children, according to the Government Accounting Office (GAO).

A GAO survey of primary care physicians (PCPs) found that 84% experience difficulty referring Medicaid and CHIP children, compared with 26% for privately insured children. Physicians said they have the most difficulty referring for mental health, dermatology, and neurology.

The survey also found that more than 75% of primary and specialty care physicians are enrolled as Medicaid and CHIP providers, with the highest enrollment-83%-among PCPs.