Infants and children get sick at any given time and for this reason, they need to be seen by a doctor at a moments notice. Fevers can spike all of a sudden, children develop colds, flu and other respiratory issues as well as many other medical conditions.
Doctor’s offices will see patients if they have an opening but when they ask about insurance information for your child it gets complicated. If your child does not have Blue Cross & Blue Shield but instead has Medicaid you are turned away.
I know a young woman who has a 17-month-old child who was turned away because he has Medicaid instead of a well-known health insurance plan. Her son spiked a fever of 104 degrees, she took him to the local emergency room and was given an antibiotic, and it has not helped. Several well-known pediatrician offices were called to see if they could see him as a patient. When asked about insurance she was told, “I’m sorry we are not accepting any new Medicaid patients we are at our limit.”
I did not know there was a limit on a child’s well being and that they could be turned away simply because they have Medicaid. This is wrong on so many levels.
The doctors offices that were called was F. Read Hopkins located at 1212 McConville Road Lynchburg, Virginia, Richeson Drive Pediatrics located at 105 Richeson Drive Lynchburg, Virginia and Lynchburg Family Medicine located at 2097 Langhorne Road Lynchburg, Virginia. Each office gave the same answer almost as if they had rehearsed the answer.
Many parents simply cannot afford Blue Cross & Blue Shield because of income reasons and are forced to obtain Medicaid to have some form of coverage for their children.
When each one of the doctors offices were questioned their response was the same. They each said they are only allowed a certain number of Medicaid patients and that they cannot afford to take more because Medicaid does not pay much.
When asked how they could turn down such a young sick child their reply was again the same, “because we are allowed too.”
Each doctor’s office referred the child to the local health department or the emergency room. The medicine the emergency room doctor gave the child did not seem to work. As far as the local health department, they only have a doctor there once a month. Children get sick at any given second and need a doctor they can see if needed.
It is hard to believe that a pediatrician’s office will turn children away because they have Medicaid but it is happening and is so unfair to the children.
The local social services department was contacted and when asked about this situation replied to write your congressman and go to the emergency room and then apologized for the child not being seen by a doctor’s office.
One of two things needs to happen for parents who have children on Medicaid. One is the doctors need to learn to accept it or the government needs to rework Medicaid to ensure the doctors will accept the insurance.
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