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Patients, clinic brace for state healthcare cut impacts

3 years ago July 25, 2012 Jul 25, 2012 Wednesday, July 25 2012 Wednesday, July 25, 2012 4:27:13 PM CDT in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Olivia LaBorde

BATON ROUGE - Some people who rely on Medicaid say they're not sure what's next after hundreds of millions in federal funding cuts for the program in Louisiana.

"We're very concerned because I see patients that are on Medicare, Medicaid,just indigent patients," said Dr. Ruth Smother.

Last week Governer Jindal announced widespread cuts to the Louisiana Medicaid program in order to absorb the funding drop. Hospitals and clinics run by LSU will be hit the hardest,  with about $329 million in cuts for the fiscal year.

Administrators at Baton Rouge primary care worry many of affected patients will end up at their door.

"The largest charity hospital in Baton Rouge is by far LSU," said Lynn Medley Long, CEO at Baton Rouge Primary Care. "So many people that need those services will not have access to those services."

The staff says they're happy to have the patients, but are worried about how they will be able to handle them all.  So is Viola Riley, who's been going to the clinic for some time now.

"Some people [have] just given up," she told News 2, "because they can't get the medical attention that they need."

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