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Health News Florida

Insurers Build Clinics for Medicaid Patients

Jose Hernandez 176.jpg

To prepare for a massive influx of new Medicaid patients in Florida and other states, insurers are building clinics in convenient places to help them find care without resorting to a hospital emergency room, Kaiser Health News reports.

For example, Molina has opened a clinic in a West Palm Beach shopping center because company officials noticed a lot of their Medicaid enrollees were using ER's for routine care.

Jose Hernandez, a family physician who works at the clinic, says he joined because he enjoys caring for the poor and wanted a job closer to his home. Florida's Medicaid patients will be required to enroll in managed-care plans statewide next year, which will bring in a huge new market.

And that potential for growth will be even greater if the state Legislature votes to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid to 1 million uninsured -- a proposal now pending.