Medical Professionals Not Required To Dedicate 30% Of Practice To Medicare, Medicaid Beneficiaries, Uninsured

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The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has issued a release to clarify that medical professionals who participate in the Greater New Orleans Health Service Corps program do not need to dedicate 30% of their practice to treating Medicaid, Medicare and uninsured patients, the Lafayette Daily Advertiser reports.

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DHHSecretary Fred Cerise said, "This was a misconception that wascirculating among medical professionals," adding, "It is important thatdoctors and other health care professionals understand the requirementsof the grant and not get wrong information that might keep them fromapplying" (Lafayette Daily Advertiser, 7/9).

Theprogram, developed by the state, is working to attract health careprofessionals to areas affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 byoffering financial incentives, including student loan repayment andincome guarantees. Since the hurricane, physician practices haveflooded, some hospitals have closed and the number of uninsuredresidents has increased. To receive incentives, worth as much as$110,000, medical professionals must agree to practice in the area forat least three years (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 6/12).

Whilethere is no quota, health care providers must agree to treat Medicareand Medicaid beneficiaries and accept payment on a sliding fee scalefor uninsured patients based on their income to be eligible for theprogram. Priority is given to health care providers who accept andtreat a high rate of Medicaid and uninsured patients for the durationof the three years (Lafayette Daily Advertiser, 7/9).
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Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserDaily Health Policy Report, search the archives, andsign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published forkaisernetwork.org,a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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