Massachusetts will ask Medicaid patients about quality of care

Privately insured patients have been asked to rate their medical providers for years. Now, for the first time, Massachusetts is seeking the opinions of thousands of Medicaid recipients about their experiences in the doctor’s office.

Beginning this month, nearly 250,000 low-income and disabled patients will be asked questions such as whether they or their children were able to get appointments when they needed them, whether doctors and office staff communicated respectfully, and whether their mental health treatment actually improved their ability to work or attend school.

The results will give state officials a window into how well Medicaid providers care for patients amid a significant restructuring of the program. And the information will allow the state to direct higher payments to better performers. Eventually, officials plan to publicly release some results, allowing Medicaid recipients to compare the quality of provider networks.

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