Medicaid cuts could hit pediatricians the hardest

Medicaid cuts could hit pediatricians the hardest

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's no secret that Alabama's Medicaid system faces a shortfall of more than $85 million. Due to that, cuts could soon be hitting state doctors.

"If these cuts are implemented, people are not going to be able to keep their doors open. That's not exaggerating [and] that's not drama, that's truth," said pediatrician Cathy Wood.

"To me, this is the biggest crisis we've ever had," said pediatrician Marsha Raulerson.

If no more money is found for Medicaid, doctors will likely see cuts in how much they are paid for seeing Medicaid patients.

"How can a doctor justify staying in business [when] they can't afford to, [when] they can't pay their bills," Raulerson said.

Those hurt the most would be pediatricians, as most Medicaid patients are children.

However, if these cuts happen it would impact more than just those on Medicaid.

"It's not that they are going to stop seeing Medicaid patients, they are going to stop seeing all patients both private patients and Medicaid patients; they are going to move somewhere else," Raulerson said.

"Our delivery of care is going to be significantly impacted. I don't know if you've been to an ER recently. I went last night with my husband who had a kidney stone. That ER is going to be covered up with kids who can't get care anywhere else," Dr. Wood said.

Lawmakers did get close to providing around $70 million for Medicaid through a BP settlement bill. It did not pass in the legislative session, but some believe it could be given new life in a special session.

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