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Insurers Build Clinics for Medicaid Patients

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.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.