Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have claimed that the delays in providing much-needed medical care to patients are linked with restrictive cost policies followed by Medicaid. States and counties with the most restrictive Medicaid eligibility criteria (where individuals must be far below the federal poverty level to qualify for Medicaid) have the highest rates of delayed care. This research appears in the March 28, 2013 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. "The causes of delaying care are complex. States with restrictive Medicaid policies need to review their strategies for improving access to care," said Cheryl Clark, MD, ScD, a co-author of the research and the director of Health Equity Research and Intervention in the Center for Community Health and Health Equity at BWH. Specifically, the research found:States with the most restrictive Medicaid eligibility requirements have higher rates of patients delaying needed medical care. Regions with the highest rates of delayed medical care are in the southeast, specifically Florida and Texas. Across the United States, Hispanics are at a higher risk for delaying needed medical care.Patients are less likely to delay needed medical care in regions with a greater concentration of primary care providers, such as New England. "Solving this problem will take more than just a Medicaid expansion," said Jennifer Haas, MD, MSPH, a co-author of the research and a primary care physician at BWH. "The states and counties that have been successful in reducing their rates of delayed care have been able to increase the number of primary care physicians, reduce eligibility barriers for Hispanic patients and generally increase access to health care." Source: Eurekalert << Varenicline is Effective in Helping Smokers Kick the Butt Bacteria Present on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Depend on T... >> Recommended Reading What is Medicare / Medicaid? Medicaid / Medicare are different governmental programs that provide medical and health-related services to specific groups of people in U.S. and managed by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. READ MORE Medicaid Expansion in Pennsylvania Could Generate $2 Billion in Revenue to the State A new study conducted by RAND Corporation suggests that more than 340,000 residents could take advantage of health insurance if Medicaid is expanded in Pennsylvania. READ MORE Health Insurance Industry Needs to Change, Says Blue Cross Chief Most insurers would try to woo customers in the marketplace so the prices needed to be competitive. READ MORE Medicare, Medicaid Proposed Cuts may Force Docs to Stop Seeing Patients There are proposals to cut Medicare and Medicaid programs in the US that could make it impossible for many hospitals to remain profitable. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Accident and Trauma Care Daily Calorie Requirements Find a Doctor More News on: What is Medicare / Medicaid?