As Medicaid shrinks, clinics for the poor are trying to survive

Each of those health centers has suffered revenue losses of at least $500,000 due to the termination of Medicaid, according to Amy Simmons Farber, a spokeswoman for the health center association.

As of late December, Family Health Centers, a network of clinics in Louisville, Kentucky, had lost more than 2,000 Medicaid patients since the policy change took effect in April, a decline of nearly 6 percent, Melissa Mather said. , clinic spokesperson. For every percentage decrease in Medicaid patient visits, she said, the clinic experiences a decrease in revenue of $175,000 to $200,000.

Bethesda is now immersed in a “month-to-month survival game,” said Bethesda operations manager Amber Greene, who also works as a nurse. Standing at a supply closet to make her point, she pointed to a modest stash of Tylenol, Motrin and thermometers, which the church next door had donated.

The clinic, with the vast majority of its patients on Medicaid, needs about $115,000 each month to operate its medical and dental clinics, but still has a monthly deficit of about $10,000. Sometimes the costs it consumes are small, such as the fee for the injection Dr. Price administered to the mother that she could not afford. But they add up, forcing the clinic to get creative to preserve funds. A local pharmacy offers antibiotics at deep discounts, and the clinic reduced the costs of its virus tests by performing them in-house.

Texas health officials have defended the cancellation as a natural reversion to the intended shape and size of Medicaid. Conservative health policy experts. have also argued that reducing the lists is important to financially sustain the program.

“The reality is that many healthcare professionals cannot sustainably care for Medicaid patients because the program reimburses so little and the claims process is so unbearable that many providers end up suffering losses to the point of threatening closure.” said Tanner Aliff, a health policy expert. at the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation.