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Primary Care closing leaves Medicaid patients ‘high and dry’

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More than 10,000 patients must seek treatment elsewhere

By Shelley Spillman

More than 10,000 patients must seek treatment elsewhere

By Shelley Spillman

News Editor

Anderson Primary Care officially closed its doors Friday.

The clinic’s more than 10,000 registered patients will be directed to Paragon Family Practice in Versailles.

Anderson Primary Care, owned by Lu Anne Wallace and Ann Giles, was one of the only medical care facilities that took Medicaid, leaving many Medicaid patients with no place to seek treatment locally.

Foster Ockerman Jr., attorney for Anderson Primary Care, said the clinic has a high percentage of Medicaid patients and federal changes in Medicaid reimbursement rates ultimately hurt them.

As of Nov. 2011, Kentucky Medicaid Managed Care System acted as the intermediary between health care providers for Medicaid reimbursements rather than getting the reimbursements directly.

According to Ockerman, under the new regulations the clinic received a lower rate of reimbursement for each patient visit, and it look much longer to receive Medicaid reimbursements.

“This is an issue that’s affecting Medicaid providers across the state,” Ockerman said.

Steve Matoon, a patient of Anderson Primary Care for more than five years, found out on Thursday that the clinic would close on Friday.

“I got a call today that said I’d need to go to Versailles or Lexington,” Matoon said. “This is leaving a lot of people high and dry.”

Matoon, his wife and his diabetic son were all patients at Anderson Primary Care.

“Now my son will have to go to Lexington or Versailles to get his prescriptions filled,” he said.

The clinic’s closing will have a major impact on his family, Matoon said.

“This was the only clinic that I know of that takes Medicaid here. I live off a fixed income of less than $1,000 a month,” Matoon said. “I can’t afford to drive to Lexington or Versailles.”

All patient records will reportedly be transferred to Paragon Family Practice in Versailles, which is under the same ownership as Anderson Primary Care.

Ockerman said all of the Anderson Primary Care employees were offered jobs at the Versailles clinic, and the phone number will remain the same.