Thursday, March 18, 2010

Washington State Walgreens Cutting Out Medicaid

During yesterday's News Talk Online on the Paltalk News Network we discussed with Dr. Michael Pryce the paltry reimbursement doctors get from various state Medicaid programs.

We learned that in Georgia, a doctor couldn't find a pediatric orthopedic surgeon to treat a young patient who was on Medicaid.

We learned that lots of doctors just can't afford to take Medicaid patients because the reimbursements - which are - Dr. Pryce reported - 60 percent of what Medicare gives - are less than the cost of treatment. Add to that the cost of filling out forms and a single practitioner doctor like Pryce is spending more time and money on bureaucracy than on patient treatment.

Now we are learning that in Washington State, Walgreens will no longer accept Medicaid patients at their pharmacies. 

Walgreens complaint is the same. The drug store loses money each time it fills a prescription for a Medicaid patient.

This all comes at a time, of course, when President Obama is trying to get some kind of health reform package passed by Congress.

We do need health reform. Too many of our fellow Americans lack health insurance. Too many are under-treated because they are on Medicare or Medicaid. Too many who do have insurance are denied treatment by their insurance companies. Doctors call this practicing medicine without a license.

But when we hear of this kind of government underfunding of health care and prescriptions, even those of us who favor a national health care plan take pause.

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Talk to Gary 5 PM New York time weekdays on News Talk Online on the Paltalk News Network. Go to www.joinchatnow.com. There is no charge.

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