Healthcare providers rally against rate cuts

Hundreds of healthcare workers voiced frustration over proposed changes to provider rates.

Organizations that represent healthcare providers in Nebraska met to address how a 4% cut could impact services to consumers.  The proposed cuts will reduce the services available to patients as well as change the rates providers can charge.

Right now, there is a limited number of dentists that see Medicaid-enrolled patients.  Dr. Jessica Meeske is one them.  She sees children whose families travel more than three hours to get dental care.  Dr. Meeske says, “While we can appreciate the enormous task that the legislature must endure in balancing the budget, we don't believe it should be done at the expense of children and adults who typically have the greatest amount of healthcare needs.”L

Limiting access to providers will cut costs, but Dr. Bob Rauner says the problem is people won't be able to get the care they need.  Instead of a doctor's office, they'll be forced to go to an emergency room.  “The reason that our ER bills are expensive is not because the ER's are overcharging us, it's because they are shifting that cost to us from Medicaid patients and the uninsured who they're mandated to take care of from the government.”

The legislature's appropriations committee says they don't want to make the cuts, but they have to because of the budget deficit