Medicaid Expansion Advocate Argues For Reform, Too

By Missourinet

Published 08/19 2013 02:10PM

Updated 08/19 2013 02:11PM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- An advocate for Medicaid expansion argues for an overhaul of the health delivery system at the same time. 

Executive Director of Mercy Telehealth, Dr. Tom Hale, has told legislators studying Medicaid reform and expansion that both are possible and both are needed.

Dr. Hale says it's hard to identify Medicaid recipients until they show up, but when they do show up, he says the way they are treated needs to be improved.

Dr. Hale tells a Senate committee diagnosis and treatment from a distance, using video, is one way to reduce costs and make it easier for Medicaid-eligible Missourians to access care.  He also suggests nurse practitioners and advanced practitioners be allowed ot serve as primary care providers.

Hale also suggests providers locate convenient care clinics next to emergency rooms, so that Medicaid-eligible Missourians who normally seek primary care in emergency rooms have a place to go that will be cheaper and probably will provide higher quality care than an E-R can.

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