Few doctor choices in Amarillo for families with Medicaid - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Few doctor choices in Amarillo for families with Medicaid

Jennifer Siciliano thinks moms like her need more choices when it comes to doctors for their kids Jennifer Siciliano thinks moms like her need more choices when it comes to doctors for their kids

Few Medicaid choices send some Amarillo parents scrambling to find a doctor for their kids.  One local mom worries her kids are not getting the medical attention they deserve.

Jennifer Siciliano tells me if it weren't for the Women and Children's Healthcare Center, she's not sure where she'd take her kids for check-ups.  Few Amarillo doctors will see her kids, because they're on Medicaid.  Siciliano thinks moms like her need more choices when it comes to doctors for their kids.  "We'd get out of there faster, it'd be less hassle and more people could actually get more help you know. It'd be more convenient for everyone pretty much."

According to the state just 14 doctors will see Medicaid patients in Amarillo.  Dr. Susan Neese laments "it's really sad because they're just not getting the care they need. Things that can be prevented are not being." Siciliano says while she can take take her son Adrian and other children to this clinic, she's having a hard time finding a dentist. "They don't take any kind of medicaid patients right now in this town alone. You have to drive all the way to Lubbock just to get any type of dental care for your children.

It's a trip Siciliano and her kids don't make very often. "They haven't gone since they were little little. I think that's the worst part."  Neese says poor reimbursements are the reason she and so many other Amarillo doctors won't accept Medicaid patients.   A trend kids like Adrian will probably put up with for a long time to come.  Doctor Neese says government cutbacks have forced many doctors to deny medicaid patients if they want to keep their doors open.

She notes in 2000 she and about 70 percent of physicians in the country accepted medicaid patients.  But today that figure is down to just 35 percent.

 

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