Senators reach agreement on bill to discourage Medicaid patients from missing doctors appointments
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Senators reach agreement on bill to discourage Medicaid patients from missing doctors appointments

Date: February 10, 2016
By: Jill Ornitz
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB 608

Intro: 
The Missouri Senate gave first round approval to a bill that would charge Medicaid patients who miss two doctor appointments.
RunTime: 0:42
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The bill would impose fees for missed doctor appointments and would charge patients for using emergency services rather than seeing a primary care physician.

St. Joseph Republican Senator Rob Schaaf said doctors are already refusing to accept Medicaid patients because of their appointment track records.

Actuality:  SCHAAFX.WAV
Run Time: 00:14
Description: "The reason that providers won't sign on is that they know that Mo Healthnet patients are notorious for making appointments and then not keeping them because Mo Healthnet patients have no incentive."

Some Democratic St. Louis senators said the fees would unfairly punish poor Missourians who could use that money to provide for their families.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Jill Ornitz.

Intro: 
Medicaid patients would be required to pay a copay if they saw an emergency room doctor when it wasn't necessary under a bill given preliminary approval by the Missouri senate.
RunTime: 0:47
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The bill also would create a system of escalating fees Medicaid patients would have to pay if they consistently missed appointments.

Democratic St. Louis County Senator Jill Schupp said these fees would drain poor families who could use that money to buy basic necessities.

Actuality:  SCHUPPA.WAV
Run Time: 00:20
Description: "You could either pay for an appointment that you weren't able to make it to and deny your family a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs, a gallon of milk and two sticks of butter, or you can try to reschedule if you need to get to the doctor and not have to pay that amount so that you can take care of your family."
But the bill's supporters said it would create a system of accountability that would encourage more doctors to see Medicaid patients.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Jill Ornitz.

Intro: 
Medicaid patients that miss doctor appointments would be fined on an increasing scale in a bill given initial approval by the Senate.
RunTime: 0:39
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The legislation would require Medicaid patients pay an eight dollar copay if they are treated by an emergency room doctor for a condition a general practitioner could treat.

 

St. Joseph Republican Senator and physician Rob Schaaf said this helps create a system of accountability.

Actuality:  SCHAAFY.WAV
Run Time: 00:08
Description: "Why is it just and right that we treat Mo Healthnet patients any different than anyone else?"

But some Democratic senators said the bill would punish people who are already in a tight financial spot. The bill does not require people who miss an appointment because of inclement weather to pay a fine.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Jill Ornitz.


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