Possible changes to TennCare would hit some of state's poorest r - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Possible changes to TennCare would hit some of state's poorest residents

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Morris says the changes will not influence who the CHC sees directly, but it will have an impact on TennCare patients across the state. Morris says the changes will not influence who the CHC sees directly, but it will have an impact on TennCare patients across the state.
The state says it will save them $330 million; money they had been previously receiving from hospitals. The state says it will save them $330 million; money they had been previously receiving from hospitals.
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(WMC-TV) - TennCare beneficiaries could see some changes in 2014 that could put limits on hospital and doctor visits.

The start of 2014 is all about the expansion of the Affordable Care Act, meaning more people are supposed to get health care and plans that are better—but not necessarily in Tennessee.

The Bureau of TennCare announced Monday a proposed changed to Amendment 21.

"This is all about limiting the access that people with TennCare would have to go to the doctor, to be in the hospital for psychiatric care. Generally the magic number is eight visits a year," said Church Health Center Chief Executive Officer Scott Morris.

Morris says the changes will not influence who the CHC sees directly, but it will have an impact on TennCare patients across the state.

"If you have a chronic disease [or] you have any kind of significant health care problem, eight times a year, really is an incredible limited number," said Morris.

The state says it will save them $330 million; money they had been previously receiving from hospitals.

"It is all about the fact that for the last several years the hospitals in the state of Tennessee have actually paid a tax that the assumption is with the Affordable Care Act they will not pay the tax. And without the hospitals funding this program the state is saying there's not enough money in the state to provide healthcare for the poorest people in our state," said Morris.

If passed the changes would take effect on July 1 of this year.

Changes would not apply to TennCare patients under the age of 21, anyone who is institutionalized, or pregnant women, and it will not change eligibility for the program. If passed it would also eliminate the coverage of occupational, speech, and physical therapy.

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