|By Bethany Rodgers, The Frederick News-Post, Md.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The high cost of providing health care in rural areas coupled with diminished revenue prompted
Physicians Care is also shutting down a program that provided almost 300 county adults with primary care, according the local health department.
Many of the 424 primary adult care members with
The changes that kicked in
"It's a big deal because a lot of our patients are in need of dental care, and now, they can't access it with primary adult care," said
Those eligible for comprehensive coverage, including families with children, pregnant women and the disabled, can still seek it through these two groups, said Dr.
However, the changes could shrink the pool of physicians who treat
"I think it's good for individuals to have a choice when they're looking at insurance companies," she said. "And when the options ... are reduced, when there's less choice for people, that's not as preferable."
Greater confusion could result from changes in the primary adult care program, which is open to low-income adults who might not be eligible for the comprehensive health care coverage.
Former Maryland Physicians Care members could have difficulty moving to a new managed care organization, Brookmyer said.
The shifts come as the state prepares for
Though some managed care organizations are scaling back, others are looking to grow and push into new areas of the state, said
"We're adding three new managed care organizations this year and adding more physicians," Milligan said. "We're building up capacity for the expansion, and we think we're doing all the steps that are necessary to get ready for that."
"As you are aware, health care access is a challenge in rural areas," the letter stated. "In many of the rural areas,
The rates were lowered, Milligan said, because an actuarial analysis indicated the state had been overpaying managed care organizations.
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