Medicaid cuts impacting area clinic

Medicaid cuts impacting area clinic

One area clinic is suffering from Medicaid cuts made this year.

Claude Family Medical Clinic says the Medicaid cuts are greatly affecting the children. And it's really difficult to be qualified for this type of insurance nowadays.

Janet Bilyeu with the clinic says, "They can't afford their insurance, or they don't have any insurance. Even the children are being dropped from Medicaid. And so they can't come in, and get the immunizations that they need and their health steps. And so we've had a lot that come in even for their appointment, and we find out they don't have Medicaid anymore. So it's been very difficult this year."

She says about 50% of their patients have Medicare and Medicaid. But many are coming back to them surprised they aren't being granted the insurance any longer.

Bilyeu says, "Patients with Medicare and Medicaid still continue to come. And we just eat the costs of what Medicaid won't pay us, and what Medicare doesn't pay."

With higher costs for medications and being reimbursed less than half the money, she says they've even had to cut hours for staff. "I've cut my staff. We're very frugal in how we spend our money so I've cut my salary even because I just can't. I've got to keep the clinic open."

And it's not easy to qualify. "Our Medicaid population is down a lot because they're not qualifying them anymore. The qualification is harder for them to be qualified and stay qualified. So our numbers in children have dropped quite a bit."

Also, Medicaid is not paying for the 20% left after Medicare pays the 80%. And when they have to refer a patient to a specialist or physician, many are not taking neither Medicare nor Medicaid. So they are sending them to Lubbock.

But despite all the problems, the clinic says they are willing to struggle to keep open.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10