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Aug. 5, 2016 - South Alabama Pediatricians, Family Physicians, Hospital Administrators Announce Local Impact of Medicaid Cut
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Left to right: Jeff Brannon, CEO, Monroe County Hospital; Norma Mobley, MD, FAAP (pediatrician, Mobile Pediatric Clinic); Allen Perkins, MD, FAAFP (family physician, University of South Alabama College of Medicine).

Families in South Alabama seeking to make a doctor’s appointment will need to plan further in advance in order to see the physician of their choice due to a significant Medicaid cut that went into effect earlier this week. 

Pediatricians from Mobile Pediatric Clinic and a family physician from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine joined officials from the Monroe County Hospital and patient advocates for a briefing today to outline the steps their practices are taking as a result of the cuts, and to describe how the changes will affect everyday families, regardless of the insurance they are covered by. Physicians in Auburn, Birmingham, Dothan and Huntsville are holding similar briefings throughout the week. 

On Aug.1, the reimbursement the state of Alabama provides to doctors who treat Medicaid patients was reduced by an average of thirty percent. The cut was deemed necessary because the Alabama Medicaid Agency will need an additional $85 million in Fiscal Year 2017 to provide healthcare for the more than one million patients it serves, more than half of which are children. Additional cuts are expected unless more funding is appropriated to Medicaid before the start of the next fiscal year. 

The Medicaid cut is forcing doctors across the state to choose between accepting fewer patients, reducing staff, and in some cases, closing their practice. Combined, these changes will mean that for most Alabamians it will be more difficult to book an appointment with a doctor of their choice at a time convenient for their schedule. 

Last week, Governor Bentley announced that the Alabama Legislature will return to Montgomery on August 15 to discuss new funding measures. The South Alabama physicians are encouraging all Alabamians to visit IamMedicaid.com to contact state leaders to encourage them to protect Alabama’s healthcare system by reversing this cut and fully funding Alabama Medicaid.
 

Alabama Health Care Facts: By The Numbers

General Health Care Facts:

  • 56 percent (585,362) of Medicaid recipients are children
  • In Alabama, children on Medicaid make up at least 38 percent of a pediatrician’s patient base.
  • 28 percent of Medicaid recipients are elderly or disabled
  • There are zero non-disabled, childless adults enrolled in Medicaid
  • The entire health care sector employed almost 240,000 people
  • Alabama will lose $2.22 in federal matching funds for every $1.00 in state money it cuts from its Medicaid budget

Physician Health Care Facts:

  • Alabama has nearly 9,000 patient care physicians
  • Each physician supports an average of 9.5 jobs, including his/her own, and contributes to a total of 83,095 jobs statewide
  • Each physician supports an average of $1.3 million in economic output and contributes to a total of $11.2 billion in economic output statewide
  • Each physician supports an average of $758,744 in total wages and benefits and contributes to a total of $6.7 billion in wages and benefits statewide
  • Each physician supports $46,148 in local and state tax revenues and contributes to a total of $404.9 million in local and state tax revenues statewide

 Hospital Health Care Facts:

  • Alabama hospitals contribute 19.2 billion to the state’s economy every year
  • Hospitals directly employ over 84,000 people statewide
  • 9 percent of total statewide employment is supported by hospitals
  • Every year hospitals contribute $4.5 billion in payroll and benefits
  • Hospitals spend more than $9.7 billion on goods and services in their community
  • 14 percent of total employment in rural areas is attributed to health care.

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