Potential Medicaid Cuts Worry Doctors, Providers

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Valley Healthcare's motto: Never turn down anyone, no matter their ability to pay.

These days, that motto is being tested over and over again, as Valley Healthcare deals with increased patient loads, but less money coming in from the state.

"After a while, it becomes a balancing act, to stay viable yet maintain that mission," said Sarah Lang, the CEO of Valley Healthcare.

About 20% of Valley Healthcare's patients are covered by Medicaid, while almost 60% are uninsured.

The company depends on Medicaid reimbursements from the State of Georgia for part of their funding.

If those payments are slashed, they have to find another way to fund the services they provide to low income residents throughout the area.

"What do we do? Do we seek additional funds, do we seek more support from the community? We used to rely on outside organizations, but now, they are hit as well," said Lang.

With more doctors refusing Medicaid patients, and more people coming to Valley Healthcare for help, it could mean a reduction in services, and no where for these patients to turn.

"It's very scary for me to think about what's going to happen within the next year, or even the next couple of months," said Lang.