"Gov. Robert Bentley and Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar warn that the budget could force Medicaid to cut services like adult prescription drugs, outpatient dialysis, and hospice care. A primary care bump – which brings physicians’ reimbursements for Medicaid patients in-line with the higher-paying Medicare rate – could also be in jeopardy. That may restrict access to services for both Medicaid recipients and the privately insured and drive more patients into the state’s emergency rooms."
"One proposal is for Walmart to be the exclusive provider of pharmacy services in Alabama,” Darby said. “All these people from Opp, Florala would have to come to Andalusia to get a prescription filled. We’re already dealing with poorest of the poor, and you add transportation costs."
"Now, the Medicaid Agency is left with the tough decisions of which programs to cut, and how deep to reach into the pockets of Alabama's citizens who can already barely afford their medications and health treatments. Services at risk of being cut are prescription drug coverage for adults, eyeglasses for adults, outpatient dialysis, prosthetics and orthotics, hearing programs, Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), among other programs and services that patients across Alabama need to survive."
"But these cuts will most certainly impact those not on Medicaid as well. Medicaid is the backbone of healthcare in the state of Alabama. Nearly one million children and elderly citizens depend on Medicaid for their healthcare services, or just below 25% of the state's population. If Medicaid makes significant cuts to physician payments, many physicians, and in particular those who serve a large number of Medicaid patients, would be forced out of business and maybe out of Alabama."