Utah Doctors Drop Out of Medicaid as Ranks of Patients Grow

Lousy pay and burdensome paperwork


SALT LAKE CITY — Fewer Utah doctors are willing to care for a growing number of Medicaid patients, according to analysts at the Utah Legislature.

The latest figures show the number of Utah medical providers willing to take Medicaid patients has dwindled to 2,517, down by 25 percent from 3,366 in 2008.

Doctors blame low reimbursement rates and the hassle of paperwork. They told a legislative committee it's hard to get the federal and state program to approve some procedures and surgeries.

The number of people in Utah on Medicaid, meanwhile, has grown by nearly 30 percent to nearly 380,000 since 2008.

"When I ask where I'm supposed to go, I'm told the hospital. To the emergency room," she said.