Lawmakers work to help Medicaid -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lawmakers work to help Medicaid

March 19, 2004

Albany- Prodded by the governor, budget negotiators Friday resolved a dispute that left the state unable to pay its Medicaid bills.

Thursday, the state stopped sending Medicaid payments to hospitals like Phoebe Putney. The program ran out of money because the general assembly failed to pass a mid-year budget on time.

About 30 percent of Phoebe's patients are on Medicaid. Hospital officials say regardless of whether Medicaid is paying, the staff will keep treating patients.

"We will not stop seeing patients," said Nicole Brueder, assistant vice president of Business Affairs. "It is our mission to see patients and we will continue to see those patients."

The governor may use a $57 million Medicaid pre-payment fund to start paying the bills until the budget passes both houses next week.

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