OK Docs Concerned Over Medicaid Expansion

So ... Just who are these new government-funded patients supposed to see?


The Oklahoma State Medical Assn. has concerns about adding 200,000 residents to the state's Medicaid rolls in 2014 and intends to work with the governor to assess whether such an expansion makes sense.

Part of the challenge is determining who these new patients are going to see for their care, said Kenneth King, the association's executive director. The U.S. Census Bureau has ranked Oklahoma 50th in the nation in terms of physician-to-patient ratio, King said. With the work force already stretched to the limits, physicians barely are able to see the patients they have now, he said.

"One of the things we want is to have a dialogue with our governor on how the expansion [is] going to work," he said. "It's pretty cynical to say, 'Yes, you've got coverage, but you can't see a doctor for two years.' So we're worried about the work force issue."