Economic and Regional Factors Influence Patients’ Access to Appropriate Endocrinological Care
Oct 30, 2017
Published in: ASRM Press Release
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE’S 2017 SCIENTIFIC CONGRESS & EXPO
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San Antonio, TX- Studies presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Scientific Congress and Expo reveal that economic and geographic factors affect the care received by certain patients in the United States suffering from endocrinological disorders. These patients lack adequate access to primary care physicians to diagnose them, and to specialists to address their individualized needs.
In a cross-sectional study researchers from Rutgers - New Jersey Medical School determined that New Jersey Medicaid patients had extremely limited access to providers who were certified Reproductive Endocrinologists (REs) for care for reproductive endocrinological disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) hyperprolactinemia, delayed puberty, and primary ovarian insufficiency. Using the New Jersey state website, they identified five NJ Medicaid insurance/HMO plans, each listing between two and nine REs in their provider network. The researchers telephoned the insurance companies and the doctors’ offices to confirm their provider status and called ABOG to confirm their board certification, finding that only four doctors practicing in two locations were board-certified REs. The others either did not participate with Medicaid or were not board-certified. Between those four REs, an average of six one-half day clinics per month were available to Medicaid patients.
Researchers from the University of Michigan found the number of Emergency Department (ED) visits for patients in the United States with a principal diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) almost doubled between 2006 and 2014, increasing from 1,277 to 2,574. Using data from the Nationwide ED Sample, part of a project by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, they identified the South as the region of the United States with the highest utilization of the ED for PCOS: 44% of visits in 2014, while the South’s utilization of the ED for all diagnoses was 40% of the US total. This contrasts with the West, which accounts for 15% of PCOS ED visits and 19% of all ED visits.
ASRM President Richard J. Paulson, MD noted, “Improvements in the public and private insurance markets are needed to ensure that patients are able to see a physician when they need one and to see the physician who has the training and experience to give them the appropriate care.”
P-7 Holden et al,”NJ MEDICAID PATIENTS HAVE LIMITED ACCESS TO PROVIDERS FOR REPRODUCTIVE ENDOCRINE CARE”
P-11 Mahany et al,” UTILIZATION OF AND REGIONAL DIFFERENCES IN EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT SERVICES AMONG WOMEN WITH POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME (PCOS).”
ASRM is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. The Society accomplishes its mission through the pursuit of excellence in education and research and through advocacy on behalf of patients, physicians, and affiliated health care providers. The Society is committed to facilitating and sponsoring educational activities for the lay public and continuing medical education activities for professionals who are engaged in the practice of and research in reproductive medicine. www.asrm.org
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