FIU HealthCare Network now accepting Medicaid

Alyssa Elso/ Contributing Writer

Students who have ever been sick enough to seek medical care know the importance of having a quality health insurance provider to save them from huge bills.

New patients insured under Medicaid will be able to take advantage of the services provided by the University’s Faculty Group Practice.

“We are now accepting Medicaid, with the exception of some physicians,” said Jeffrey Stone, director of revenue cycle services for the FIU HealthCare Network.

Medicaid, a health program provided to families and individuals with low-income and to individuals with certain disabilities, is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, but managed by the states.

Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid may see an expansion that will help to insure over 21 million people, who are currently without health care. This expansion will include the federal government paying 100 percent of the costs, for the newly eligible enrollees, during the first three years starting January 2014, after which the federal government will cover 90 percent of the costs.

This effort to persuade states to adopt the expansion could force patients to pay higher co-payments and premiums on physician visits, prescription drugs and hospital visits giving states greater flexibility to charge more.

“The expansion will create a greater influx of patients with insurance and patients that are taking better care of themselves. It will also help the insurance companies as the federal government will be covering most costs, but we will have to see what happens in the coming year,” said Stone.

Its constitutionality affirmed by a Supreme Court ruling, the Medicaid expansion exists as an option for states. In an effort to get them to adopt the plan the Obama administration now allows the states to manage Medicaid to meet their requirements.

While some states have decided to participate in the expansion, others have strongly opposed it or are undecided—like Florida, one of the states currently leaning toward not participating in the expansion. It will cause strain on the state’s budget and lead to a dependency on government programs, according to Governor Rick Scott, a vocal opponent of the ACA. Scott believes that providing job opportunities for people will allow them to afford insurance.

FIU’s Faculty Group Practice opened its doors on Aug. 8, 2011 to provide health care services to FIU students, faculty and staff as well as the general public.

The Faculty Group Practice is home to various South Florida physicians within a wide range of specialties including gynecology, family medicine and psychiatry, with neurology and cardiology coming soon.

Aside from providing physician care the clinic also offers routine physicals, chronic disease management and screenings, lab services, x-rays and ultrasound exams.

“I think it’s good that the practice is accepting Medicaid, because many of the low-income students that have Medicaid can now take advantage of the resources provided by the university,” said Yolanda Sampson, a junior and journalism major.

The practice is located on the Modesto Maidique Campus in PG-5 Suite 131, with an additional location at the Broward Health Medical Center in Ft. Lauderdale.