Medicaid

News and updates about Medicaid.

Plan To Scale Back Medicaid Gets Mixed Response In Kentucky

Jun 30, 2016
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin
Gage Skidmore via Flickr

If Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposal to change the state’s Medicaid system is approved, about 86,000 fewer people will be enrolled in the program by July 2021, according to his administration. That will save the state money, as he’s said, but it’s also raising concerns about lost coverage.

Kansas 'Fail First' Pharma Policy Has Mental Health Advocates Worried

Jun 22, 2016
Rebecca Lyn Phillips, of Topeka, has schizophrenia and writes a blog about the challenges of living with the disorder.
Jim McLean / Heartland Health Monitor

Although every state has now adopted some form of “step therapy” to control prescription drug costs, patient advocacy groups in Kansas remain deeply distrustful of the policy scheduled to take effect July 1.

Also known as “fail first,” the policy requires providers participating in KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program, to start patients on less expensive drugs before moving them to more expensive alternatives if medically necessary.

In West Virginia, State Budget Delays May Force Healthcare Providers To Close

May 19, 2016
train car containing coal
Magnolia677 via Wikimedia Commons

If you are a healthcare provider in West Virginia today – a dentist, doctor, counselor, therapist – and a Medicaid patient comes into your office for treatment, you might not get paid for seeing them.

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

Earlier this year, 69-year-old Aneita McCloskey needed her two front teeth filed down and capped.

“They were kind of worn down and they were also getting little tears and cavities,” she recalls.

Without dental insurance, McCloskey is on the hook for the full $2,400 cost of the procedure. She was given 18 months to pay it before she gets charged interest. That’ll be hard to do on her fixed income.

In years past she would have had to wait to see the dentist again until she could afford it.

Audio Pending...

Michelle Faust

At 17 years old, Daryl Chatman is more interested in football than he is in health insurance.

The high school athlete turns 18 this summer. His foster parents Brenda and Kent Davis worry about what might happen if he’s injured on the football field. They want to adopt him before his next birthday so he can get on their insurance.

“He’s going to be a part of our family forever no matter what, whether its adoption or not,” says Brenda Davis. “I would really like to make sure he's covered.”

For Native Americans, Health Care Is A Long, Hard Road Away

Apr 14, 2016

Cody Pedersen and his wife, Inyan, know that in an emergency they will have to wait for help to arrive.

Cody, 29, and his family live in Cherry Creek, a Native American settlement within the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in north central South Dakota.

The reservation is bigger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. But Cherry Creek has no general store, no gas station and few jobs.

Should Lead-Exposed Families In Flint Have To Cover Related Medical Bills?

Mar 28, 2016
Keri Webber, left, and her daughter, Stephanie, helping out at a U.S. EPA open house in Flint on March 12, 2016.
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Flint residents are getting some relief when it comes to their water bills. But what about their medical bills? It’s a question some Flint families are asking.


This story was produced by Michigan Radio

Medical bills are adding up for Keri Webber. I met her over the weekend, volunteering at an open house for Flint residents.

“Already in collection, already in collection,” she says, flipping through a stack of bills in the backseat of her white Chrysler minivan. “This one here: $226 paid, but we still owe $242,” she says.

That’s $242 for one specialist.

Sixteen Beds: Size Limit For Inpatient Mental Health Programs Is A Barrier To Addiction Treatment

Mar 24, 2016
Main building at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Morris Plains, New Jersey; demolished in 2015.
Kforce via Wikimedia Commons

The country’s broadening crisis of heroin and pain pill overdoses comes at a time when many centers for addiction treatment in the United States are operating at capacity. In the St. Louis region, providers report wait times of three weeks or more. A spike in addictions means more people seeking treatment, but at the same time, providers are constricted in their ability to expand.

During a Tuesday hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Rep. William Lacy Clay of Missouri hit upon one federal rule that is at least partially to blame: a section of the Social Security Act restricting most in-patient mental health treatment programs that serve Medicaid patients to 16 beds.

More Sickle Cell Patients Survive, But Care Is Hard To Find For Adults

Mar 23, 2016
Janoi Burgess studies for his nursing degree in his room at his home near Miami.
Liam Crotty / KHN

When Janoi Burgess was a child, he thought doctor appointments were fun.

“I used to love it because they had a section where you could play games,” said Burgess, who was born with sickle cell anemia, an inherited blood disorder. “They were really nice and friendly.”

But when he turned 21, the South Florida resident could no longer go to his pediatric specialist. Instead, he “bounced around” to various adult primary care doctors, none of whom seemed well-versed in the details of his condition. When he had a painful sickle cell crisis two years later, his only choice was to go to a hospital emergency department, where, he says, he waited three hours for pain medication.

“They triage you based on severity, and pain is not something that they consider as severe” as other conditions, he recently recalled. “One doctor even said, ‘Your labs are OK so you’re not in pain.’ It was crazy and insulting at the same time.”

SOS: Puerto Rico Is Losing Doctors, Leaving Patients Stranded

Mar 14, 2016

Puerto Rico is losing people. Due to a decade-long recession, more than 50,000 residents leave the U.S. territory each year--most for jobs and new lives on the mainland. This issue is especially affecting healthcare, where it's estimated that at least one doctor leaves Puerto Rico every day.

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