Medicaid Problems Preventing Patients From Seeing Doctor

12:49 AM, Jan 14, 2014   |    comments
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ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. -- Imagine cancer's spreading through your body and you can't go to the doctor because of a typo. That's what one Alamance County man is dealing with.

The problem stems from all those Medicaid cards that were printed incorrectly. Cards with the wrong physician or even a wrong address are impacting people who are in desperate need.

One of those people is Shannon Gauze. "Red spots on both sides of my eyes coming up from the inner part of my eye."

He fears it's another side effect of cancer. In August, Shannon was diagnosed with lymphoma. In recent weeks, he's noticed spots and growths on his back and arms.

He'd go to his doctor, but he can't. "The provider's address is right, but the provider's name is wrong and they still won't accept it," said Gauze.

We introduced you to Shannon earlier this month when he learned his new Medicaid card listed the wrong primary physician. Last week, he received a new card, but it also had the wrong physician, one who retired over a year ago.

Alamance County Social Services director Susan Osborne admits it's a problem. "If the physician has moved, that name needs to be changed with the state so that when the change is made, the Medicaid card will come out right."

DSS employees are looking at each case. They told WFMY News 2's Chad Silber they're making progress. "It may not seem quick enough for some folks," said Osborne. "The last thing we want is for folks to have medical needs that aren't met."

Shannon hasn't had his needs met since he's been approved for Medicaid. That was nine weeks ago. "You wait and hope, and hope that somebody finally gets a heart and tries to change your Medicaid."

On top of Shannon's health problems, the family is also dealing with half a million dollars' worth of medical bills that can't be paid until the Medicaid issue is resolved.

The Alamance County DSS will open a call center next week to deal with the high volume of phone calls they've been receiving. Last month, Guilford County added staff and started a call center to deal with a lot of the same issues.

WFMY News 2

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