Wheeling Health Right is now accepting Ohio Medicaid including Ohio managed care organizations. The clinic has been enrolled as a provider for Ohio Medicaid, allowing its providers to offer medical care to more Ohio residents. Wheeling Health Right serves patients whose earnings are up to 200% federal poverty level . Since Ohio did not initially expand Medicaid to include patients at the lower income level, the clinic could not apply to serve patients from Ohio until Ohio approved the expanded Medicaid.
The need for affordable and accessible quality healthcare didn’t diminish with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The first phase of the ACA required Medicaid expansion across the country, leaving residents in the Upper Ohio Valley with a shortage of primary care providers in our service area that accept Medicaid. Most physicians cannot afford to accept more than 3% of their patient population as those covered by Medicaid since reimbursement is very low. In April 2014, Wheeling Health Right became a WV Medicaid provider to help address the lack of access for this newly expanded Medicaid population.
“The same laws that were intended to eliminate the need for free and charitable clinics are making them necessary again, perhaps more than ever,” said Wheeling Health Right Executive Director Kathie Brown. “Access to Medicaid coverage was a godsend for many people, yet left them with the dilemma of finding health care provider that will accept them.”
Wheeling Health Right serves more than 22,000 uninsured and underinsured residents of Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler Counties in West Virginia, and Belmont County, Ohio, The clinic becomes the patient’s primary health care center. An onsite, closed, licensed pharmacy supplies patients with prescribed medications. The onsite dental clinic, opened in 2016, helps close the gap between oral health care and overall health.
Clinic Assistant Director Kelly Brown was instrumental in obtaining eligibility for the clinic’s enrollment as a Medicaid provider. “Now our Ohio neighbors can seek care without the worry of being turned away by a health care practice that limits Medicaid patients, she said. “It’s Wheeling Health Right’s mission to serve as many underserved patients as possible and we’re proud to accomplish this for nearby Ohio residents.”
Wheeling Health Right participates with five MCOs that administer Ohio Medicaid: Buckeye Community Health, Molina, Care Source, Paramount Advantage and United Community Health Care. Patients who are enrolled in these plans and would like information on becoming a Wheeling Health Right patients may call 304-232-9323.