Holifield Accuses Tallahassee Memorial Of Medicaid Discrimination

Dec 13, 2016

Protestors accuse Tallahassee Memorial Hospital of limiting access for Medicaid patients. The hospital says more than half its clients are Medicaid or charity care.
Credit LHatter / WFSU News

Tallahassee cardiologist Ed Holifield is accusing Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare of artificially limiting the number Medicaid patients it serves. A small protest took place outside the hospital Tuesday.

Holified says Tallahassee Memorial Hospital physicians should be seeing more Medicaid patients, since the hospital gets financial support from the city. And he’s taking issue with TMH’s Family Practice program which he says unfairly shuts out Medicaid clients.

“TMH can see anybody they want to," says Holifield. "TMH can see people with no insurance who are broke like they have to do in the emergency room. But what they’re saying is, you have to get sick enough to end up in the emergency room before we’ll see you.”

Access to providers has long been a problem in Florida’s now-privatized Medicaid program.

Holifield also says the hospital has singled out only one of its physicians to serve the majority of Medicaid patients. TMH says it doesn’t comment on individual physicians, but notes half the clients in family care are Medicaid and charity care patients.