NH - 2 Hospitals, several medical offices to refuse Medicaid (state funded insurance)

Sherri - posted on 10/27/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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LACONIA, N.H. -- Two area hospitals and several medical offices will stop treating patients on Medicaid in the upcoming weeks, LRG Healthcare officials said.

LRG Healthcare, which operates Lakes Regional General Hospital and Franklin Regional Hospital, announced that its facilities would no longer accept new or existing patients on Medicaid by mid-November. Company officials said financial challenges prompted the decision that will affect more than 3,000 patients.

Letters citing unprecedented financial challenges and announcing the decision were sent to patients.

"We are saddened to have to take this action but, regrettably, have no choice," the company's president and CEO wrote in a statement.

The governor's office accused the health care provider of turning its back on its nonprofit mission. Spokesman Colin Manning said state officials were not given notice of the decision and that the state had not reduced its reimbursement rate for physician services.

"Cuts to health care is one of the reasons the governor opposed the budget that the Legislature put forward; however, that being said, the governor thinks these moves are unnecessary and irresponsible," Manning said.

LRG Healthcare officials said a reduction in Medicaid payments and a reduced demand for services due to a weak economy forced them to reduce staff and cut overhead. Officials said they were still operating with a $4 million loss.

LRG Healthcare said several primary care offices are impacted, including Andover Family Practice, Belknap Family Health, Caring For Women, Franklin Internal Medicine, Hillside Family Medicine, Laconia Clinic, Lakes Regional Family Practice, Moultonborough Family Health and New Hampton Family Practice.

Emergency care will continue for Medicaid patients, along with patients covered by NH Healthy Kids and prenatal services at Caring For Women locations, officials said.

LRG Healthcare said it would help patients transfer medical records.

The governor's office said LRG Healthcare has joined a lawsuit over state reductions. The office also said it would urge the attorney general to review the health care provider's nonprofit status since it will not be providing primary care to Medicaid patients.

Read more: http://www.wmur.com/health/29598468/deta...

http://www.wmur.com/health/29598468/deta... - There is a video as well.

11 Comments

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Jennifer - posted on 10/29/2011

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If it was the only hospital in the area's that did this, I'd have a problem. I have private insurance and have some restrictions, and here many doctors do not accept state insurance. The hospital does, but it's the only one here! The only problem I have with state insurance not being taken by many doctors is that it is usually the crappy doctors that accept it, and it took me a long time to find a good one.(actually, she is a nurse practioner) Doctors should be able to say they do not want the headaches of dealing with state red tape and, well. many people who are on it are a pain in the rear.(my kids are on it, so don't take that to mean ALL are!)

Katherine - posted on 10/29/2011

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That is really scary for me. I'm on medicaid and if I lost it, I'd be screwed. Like everyone said UHC.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/29/2011

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Jenny, you forgot that Canadian UHC will pay a US doctor to come to you or pay for you to see a US doctor/specialist if a Canadian one isn't available.

When I had insurance back in New York I wasn't completely limited to who I got to see either. It just depends on what doctor accepts your insurance.

Jenny - posted on 10/29/2011

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That's insane. I can go to any doctor or hospital in the country and be treated. Yay UHC!

Sherri - posted on 10/29/2011

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I pay for my insurance and never am I ever dictated who I can see or not see.

[deleted account]

Meggy, These hospitals are still required to provide basic emergency treatment regardless of ability to pay, they just no longer accept Medicaid as a form of payment, so those using Medicaid to pay the bill would either be responsible for paying the bill out of pocket, or would need to find another doctor. It is the same thing people with regular insurance or no insurance go through all the time.

I still don't see the reason for the upset.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/28/2011

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It's illegal in New York State to turn anyone away because of lack of medical insurance. The patients rights are posted prominently in each hospital in spanish and english.

I definately believe someone has to do something fast

[deleted account]

Okay, my little rant didn't propose any solutions, so this is what I would do to fix it.

According to information published by the White House Middle Class Task Force, the average Middle Class family spends 9% of their pre-tax income on healthcare, including insurance premiums and actual care. Those offered employer sponsored insurance spend an average of 8%, while those forced to buy private insurance spend an average of 22% of their income.

To remedy the Medicaid/Uninsured Americans issue, it seems plausible to raise taxes across the board by 10%, open Medicaid to everyone, and simply do away with the private insurance industry all together, or keep it as a program similar to private schools--citizens still pay into the public healthcare program and have access, but are able to purchase additional insurance outside of that, just like citizens pay into the public school system, but are able to pay for private schools as well.

By raising the tax by 10%, Medicaid would be profitable enough to pay doctors a reasonable amount for services, thus allowing them to care for Medicaid patients (which would be everyone) without encountering financial burden of their own.

10% is a reasonable amount to raise the tax because most people are already spending that on healthcare anyway. This way, they are just paying into a single, taxpayer funded, not-for-profit program, whereas now they are paying into a for-profit insurance program. One big agency will reduce redundancies, and thus cut cost, it will also disperse risk more evenly, thus lowering rates for everyone.

[deleted account]

I'm not really surprised at all. There are several hospitals and doctors' offices here that do not accept Medicaid.

Uninsured people have been being turned away from these hospitals and doctors for years and no one cares, so why should there be some uproar about people using Medicaid being turned away? In fact, even if you have insurance, non-state-paid insurance, there are always doctors and hospitals that do not accept that insurance. Everyone is still entitled to the same emergency care, whether they can pay or not, have Medicaid or not, or have insurance or not, they just have to find another doctor for more specialized care--it's nothing new.

Several doctors that do not accept Medicaid live on my street and are close friends. Unfortunately, Medicaid, in it's current state, reimburses doctors so little for their services that they are forced to raise rates for others and see far more patients than they are capable of seeing lowering quality standards to critical levels and resulting in lawsuits. Docs have a right to make a living too, and considering the time, effort, and debt they put in to do what they do, it should be a good living. Most doctors I know put in 60+ hours a week to earn what my husband earns in 35. Give them a break!

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/28/2011

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That's bloody ridiculous. I have nothing else to add right now. BUt it's sad that people are going to be turned away soon because of budget cuts. Yet another reason why the US needs UHC

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