An advocate for Medicaid expansion argues for an overhaul of the health delivery system at the same time. He has told legislators studying Medicaid reform and expansion that both are possible and both are needed.
One of those delivering the message is the Executive Director of Mercy Telehealth, Doctor Tom Hale, who says it’s hard to identify Medicaid recipients until they show up. But when they do show up, he says, the way they are treated needs to be improved.
Hale tells a Senate committee diagnosis and treatment from a distance, using video, is one way to reduce costs and make it easier for Medicaid-eligible Missourians to access care. He also suggests nurse practitioners and advanced practitioners be allowed ot serve as primary care providers.
Hale also suggests providers locate convenient care clinics next to emergency rooms, so that Medicaid-eligible Missourians who normally seek primary care in emergency rooms have a place to go that will be cheaper and probably will provide higher quality care than an E-R can.\