Q&A: Can we refuse new Medicaid patients?

August 7, 2009

Most states do give physicians discretion on whether to accept new Medicaid patients, just as you have the right to decide whether to take on new patients who aren't receiving public assistance.

Q: We are one of two practices in our area that participates in Medicaid. However, we are being inundated with Medicaid patients and are wondering if we have the right to stop accepting new ones in the office. Do we have that right?

A: First a caveat: This is a state-specific issue, so be sure to check with a local attorney or your state medical society for clarification. Having said that, most states do give physicians discretion on whether to accept new Medicaid patients, just as you have the right to decide whether to take on new patients who aren't receiving public assistance. In your case, refusing to see new Medicaid patients seems like a reasonable decision.