NEW PROGRAM RECRUITS
Medicaid Program Woos Doctors
BY TERRY POPE
Fewer doctors are accepting
Medicaid patients, creating a short
age of health care providers for the
poor. It's a trend that has both state
and local health officials worried.
A new program hopes to recruit
Brunswick County doctors who arc
willing to bccome health care pro
viders for Medicaid patients.
Carolina Access is a company en
dorsed by the state that pays doctors
monthly retainer fees if they arc
willing to accept Medicaid patients.
Medicaid is a program that pays
medical bills for eligible low in
come people who can't afford the
cost of health care. The bills are
paid by federal, stale and county
"I think it's still going to be diffi
cult getting doctors," said Jamie Or
rock, Brunswick County's Depart
ment of Social Services director.
The Access program will contract
with primary care physicians, pay
ing them a monthly fee of around
$15 per month for each patient,
whether the patients visit the doctor
or not. For their services. Access
will be reimbursed by the state. No
local funds arc involved.
Medicaid patients arc allowed to
select a doctor from a list of those
participating in the program. The
doctors and patients arc then under
contract for a year to provide and to
rcccivc medical carc.
"It's similar to having a retainer
fee with an attorney," Orrock said.
Carolina Access began in Rocky
Mourn and comcs to Brunswick
County having been highly en
dorsed by Nash and Edgecombe
counties, Orrock said.
"In Brunswick County, many of
our providers arc no longer accept
ing any new medicaid patients," said
Lillie Barnes, DSS income mainte
nance supervisor. "This makes it
hard on our clients. We receive calls
constantly requesting name;* of doc
tors that accept Medicaid."
Doctors who do treat Medicaid
patients must file with the state to
be reimbursed for their charges. No
money is paid to the Medicaid pa
Medicaid is run through the state
by the Division of Medical Assist
ance in the N.C. Department of Hu
man Resources. To be eligible, per
sons must meet income and asset
limits, and be aged, blind, disabled,
a member of a family with depen
dent children or pregnant.
It is not to be confused with Med
icare, a health insurance program
for people over 65 and some dis
abled people. Medicare is run by the
federal government through the
Social Security Administration.
Persons apply for Medicaid at the
county DSS office, which determines
if a person is eligible. In March, the
office accepted 155 new Medicaid
applications, Ms. Barnes reported.
The total number of Medicaid eli
gible patients in Brunswick County
increased from 3,862 in February to
4,599 in March, she reported.
"We're averaging 300 to 500 new
eases per month," said Orrock. "In
all likelihood, it will slow down in
the next few months."
Ms. Barnes asked the DSS board
to look at ways to lure doctors into
accepting Medicaid patients or to
consider a clinic for Medicaid recip
ients. She said many clients end up
going to New Hanover County or
North Myrtle Beach, S.C., for treat
ment because of the shortage of par
ticipating doctors locally.
DSS board member Judy Clcm
mons said she witnessed an incident
at The Brunswick Hospital that
made her think about the shortage
of doctors who do accept Medicaid
patients. An emergency room pa
tient there was told that she would
have to wait over two hours for a
Medicaid doctor to see her, Ms.
"The newer doctors arc more
likely to participate," Orrock said.
"Ones that arc well-established usu
Monitorings and delays in receiv
ing reimbursements from the state
often irritate doctors, he added.
"The incentive is here for the doc
tor to participate," Onock added.
"He's going to get a certain amount
of income, regardless."
A negative to the Medicaid pro
gram is when claims arc lost within
the system or filed improperly.
When Medicaid claims arc not paid
within six months, Orrock said, the
state stops payment
"Then the doctor will not get
paid," he added.
Suit Filed Against Two In Fatal Wreck
A Shallottc woman has filed suit
against two people who were in a
car that wrecked in July 1990, an
accident that claimed the life of her
Liddic Ann Wilson is asking in
excess of S10.000 from two defen
dants, Jeffrey Green, of Shallottc,
and Ricky Green, of Bolton.
The lawsuit Hied by Greensboro
attorney Lee Andrews on April 12
in Brunswick County Superior
Court claims one of the two men
was driving the car that wrecked on
Ash-Little River Road last July 8.
In that accident. Ricky Alvin Wil
son, 25, of Route 4, Shallottc, was
? * ?. JljliC - t ?? - ..'ill J ? > I > ? . lil'jl ?
thrown from the vehiele and died.
According to State Trooper W.H.
Thompson's report, Wilson was list
ed as the initial driver of the car
pending an investigation.
The accident occurred around
1:20 a.m. near Hickman's Cross
roads about 12 miles south of Shal
lotte. According to Thompson, the
1990 Pontiac was traveling at a high
rate of speed, estimated at 80 mph,
when the driver lost control of the
car, which ran into a ditch and over
The complaint states that Wilson
was a passenger in the back seat of
Reservists Receive Baskets
From Youth Advisory Council
Members of the Youth Advisory
Council at South Brunswick Middle
School made Easter baskets for the
127 reservists stationed at Sunny
Point Military Ocean Terminal dur
ing the Middle East War.
They baked a variety of cookics in
the school cafctcria and decorated
three baskets, which were delivered
March 29 to the N.C. Baptist Assem
bly at Fort Caswell, where the sol
dicrs arc staying while in ihc area.
YAC members include Kristen
Kirby, Calina Gordon, Dcrrick Full
wood, Gary Lewis, Chris McLean,
James Linebcrry, Charlie Padgett,
Mclandy Moblcy, Leaf Hoy, John
Peterson, Ramcy Higgins, Matthew
LcGrandc, Shcrri Vaught, Thomas
Turner, Charles Simmons, Keeley
Walters, William Walker, Edmund
Randolph and Charles Blue.
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the car when it wrcckcd. Jeffcrv
Green is listed as the owner of the
car, the suit contends.
It claims that either Jeffrey or
Ricky Green operated the car in a
reckless manner and at a speed great
er than the posted maximum limit.
It asks for in excess of $10,(XX) to
pay for funeral and medical bills
and loss wages Wilson would have
earned, an amount to be proven at
The lawsuit also asks for a jury
trial and any further relief the court
wishes to award.
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STAFF PHOTO BY DOUG RUTTEf
Waccamaw W ins Battle Of Books
This team from Waccamaw Elementary School won the Brunswick County Battle of the Books April
16 and will compete for the regional title Friday in Jacksonville. The competition for sixth, seventh
and eighth graders is based on information about 28 books the students have read and follows a Quiz
Bowl format. Pictured are (seated, from left) students Rebecca DeRosa, Crystal liailes, Joyce Nelson,
Jamie Hewett, (standing, from left) Shanna King, Ashli Smith, Aimee Duncan, Michael Todd and
their coach, Leacy Pierce.
A training session for Senior
Health Insurance Information Pro
gram (S.H.I. I. P.) volunteer coun
selors begins June 5 at the Bruns
wick County Agricultural Extension
Service office at Bolivia.
Seniors and other volunteers who
complete the course may serve as
"counselors" for senior citizens in
their communities, helping them
with their health insurance prob
lems, said Pearl W. Stanley, home
economics extension agent.
The training sessions cover medi
cal insurance, consumer education
and related subjects. Hours will be
from 10 a.m. to 12 noon June 5, 12,
19 and 26, and July 3 and 10.
Friday, April 26, is the deadline
to register for the training, which
will be held by a representative of
the N.C. Department of Insurance.
To register, call the extension of
fice at 253-4425.
Coll today to sign up.
Marilyn J. Boehm, M.D.. Ph. D. 919-754-5581
Village Pines. Shallotte 919-754-9949
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