Obamacare Creates 'Upheaval' At Free Clinics

While a few free health clinics have shut their doors in Arkansas and Washington, most expansion-state non-profit free clinics are reassessing their business strategies.

Without insurance, Pam Milliken relied for years on the free health clinic here to help manage her arthritis, high blood pressure and diabetes. When she needed to have her gallbladder removed, the clinic, located in a former State Farm Insurance building, found her a specialist and hospital willing to do the surgery at no cost.

This year, Milliken was among the 70 percent of patients at Wheeling Health Right Center who enrolled in Medicaid after the state expanded the program under the Affordable Care Act.

Worried that patients like Milliken would leave their care and struggle to find doctors accepting new Medicaid patients, the clinic took a rather radical step: It became a Medicaid provider and started billing the state-federal health insurance program for the poor.

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Source: Kaiser Health News