Medicaid reform meeting held in Greenville

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Hundreds of people packed the Greenville Convention Center Thursday to weigh in on the state’s draft of the Medicaid Reform waiver application.

EMS officals, doctors, medical professionals and students were just some who spoke during the two-hour event. Many raised concerns over the increased workload involved in filing Medicaid cases.

Some doctors said their clerical work has increased nearly 10 percent because of the paperwork associated with the program in the last few years.

David Baker, a medical student at the Brody School of Medicine, said future doctors have noticed.

“Our role models, those who we revere and model ourselves after, are increasingly consumed with administrative burdens and costly quality reporting initiatives,” he said.

Leadership from both Vidant Health and Brody were also on hand to give their input. Both said reduced reimbursements have put them in tough situations, costing them millions of dollars every year.

David Hughes, the CFO for Vidant Health, said he is hopeful the supplemental funding they receive through the program isn’t cut or decreased under the new Medicaid setup.

“If these supplemental payments go away without appropriate replacement funding, both our organizations will simply not survive,” Hughes said.

Doctors representing Beaufort, Pitt, and Greene Counties made their voice heard as well. Some said the decrease in primary care doctors have created access to care problems, especially in rural communities.

Dr. John Morrow, Director of the Pitt County Health Department, said he hopes state health officials remember those on the front line fighting different diseases. He said 25 percent of their funding comes from Medicaid.

“”Zika virus is a threat that we’re dealing with today. In public health, we’re the first line of responders for that,” Morrow said.”We’ve always have been for communicable diseases like Zika that will continue to come around, and it’s important for Medicaid to understand the role of public health.”

Another meeting will be held Saturday in Elizabeth City at the College of The Albemarle, AE 208, from 10 a.m. until noon.

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