This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

Survey: Wait Times For A Doctor Appointment Longest In Boston, Shortest In Dallas

IRVING, Texas, Jan. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Need to see a family physician, dermatologist or an obstetrician/gynecologist? Get in line, because it could take weeks to schedule an appointment, a new survey indicates. 

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140129/LA54356-INFO-a)

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140129/LA54356LOGO-b)

Conducted by Merritt Hawkins, a national physician search and consulting firm and a company of AMN Healthcare, the survey of 1,399 medical offices tracks the average time needed to schedule a doctor appointment in 15 large metropolitan areas.   The survey reports average doctor appointment wait times in five different medical specialties: cardiology, dermatology, obstetrics/gynecology, orthopedic surgery and family practice. 

Boston is experiencing the longest average doctor appointment wait times of the 15 metro markets examined in the survey: 72 days to see a dermatologist, 66 days to see a family physician, 46 days to see an ob/gyn, 27 days to see a cardiologist, and 16 days to see an orthopedic surgeon.  On average, it takes over 45 days to schedule a doctor appointment in the Boston area, the survey indicates.  In each of the three years Merritt Hawkins has released the survey (2004, 2009, 2014) Boston has averaged the longest physician appointment wait times among the 15 cities.

Other average physician appointment wait times tracked by the survey include 28 days to see a cardiologist in Denver, 49 days to see a dermatologist in Philadelphia, 35 days to see an ob/gyn in Portland, 18 days to see an orthopedic surgeon in San Diego, and 26 days to see a family physician in New York.  Physician appointment wait times tracked in the survey varied from as little as one day to over eight months, with an overall average in all metro areas and all specialties of about 19 days.

"Finding a physician who can see you today, or three weeks from today, can be a challenge, even in urban areas where there is a high ratio of physicians per population," said Mark Smith, president of Merritt Hawkins.  "The demand for doctors is simply outstripping the supply." 

The survey also tracks how many physician practices accept Medicaid as a form of payment in the 15 metro markets.  Boston has the highest rate of Medicaid acceptance tracked in the survey at 73%, while Dallas has the lowest at 23%.   The overall average rate of Medicaid acceptance for all five specialties in all 15 markets is 45.7%, the survey indicates. 

Many physicians are not accepting Medicaid because it often pays less than what it costs physicians to provide care, according to Smith. Medicaid patients, and patients with private insurance, often seek "convenient care" in hospital emergency departments when they cannot access office-based physicians in a timely manner.  The problem of physician access could become more pronounced as millions of previously uninsured patients obtain coverage through the Affordable Care Act, according to Smith.   

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,214.42 -10.15 -0.06%
S&P 500 2,110.74 -3.12 -0.15%
NASDAQ 4,987.89 +20.7530 0.42%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs