PORTLAND, Ore. — Low-income Oregon residents were supposed to be big winners after the state expanded Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul and created a new system to improve the care they received.
But an Associated Press review shows an unexpected rush of enrollees has exacerbated problems associated with a widespread physician shortage. It also has strained the capacity of the revamped network, which was endorsed as a potential national model.
Some enrollees have been locked out of the coordinated care system. Others have seen reduced access to care as some doctors, clinics and health centers closed to new Medicaid patients.
Across the state, many patients face long waits for appointments, prompting spikes in emergency room visits that the new system was meant to avoid.
Overhaul supporters say they’re implementing solutions to improve access to care.