The Florida Renal Coalition is made up of providers that treat people with kidney failure. And the group says like many other Medicaid providers, it gets paid less than what it costs to treat patients. The Coalition’s Bob Loeper says as Florida transitions to Managed Care, his group would like to start with higher rates, as insurers look to save money:
“We’re concerned that some of the managed care companies will say to us, ‘okay, you’ve been accepting $100 all the time so we’re just going to pay you $100, and that’s unacceptable," he said.
According to a report from the consumer advocacy group Families USA, about 750,000 Floridians on Medicaid have conditions like Diabetes and Hypertension which often lead to Kidney Disease and renal failure . The coalition wants the state to increase payments to $150 so providers lose less money. They also wants more authority for providers to issue vaccines.
Loeper says his providers see the same patients up to three times a week, and it’s a job they are able and willing to do:
“The nephrologist will tell you most of the time when they [patients] do see a primary [care doctor] , the primary is calling the nephrologist saying’ what do I do?’ And a lot of the time the primary will tell them to just take care of these patients because we really don’t understand this disease.”
Last year Florida pharmacists were allowed to issue additional vaccines to seniors with prescriptions over objections from doctor’s groups.