Medicaid expands, ERs brace, Ernest Burrell prays

In days, Louisiana will become the 31st state -- the first in the Deep South -- to expand its Medicaid program to insure residents with yearly incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty line.

Feature (Louisiana)

Richard Rainey
Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA)
June 10, 2016

Tags: Health Care

Organizations mentioned/involved: Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS)


And with the Medicaid expansion comes greater access for sick people to reach a secondary round of care: medications and the specialists who can address their often-complicated lattice of diseases.

But that raises new concerns among health care providers.

“Do we have enough specialists out there, now that all these people will have access to primary care and specialists?” asked Gwynne Mashon, a lawyer with the Southeastern Louisiana Legal Services who is handling Burrell’s Medicaid access case.

There is worry among physicians that they can’t afford to treat Medicaid patients. They earn 62 cents on every dollar they charge. They also feel that rate will chase colleagues away from opening their practices to newly insured Medicaid patients.