St. Louis Public Radio News
3:26 pm
Thu April 10, 2003

Commission says Health Care Safety Net has Holes

St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Regional Health Commission says too little money is spent on the region's health care safety net, and that patients often have limited access to service providers.

A commission report issued Thursday finds the region would have to spend at least $150-million more each year to provide adequate care to uninsured and Medicaid patients in the area.

The commission's Robert Fruend says proposed funding cuts at the state level are a threat to the system's stability.

For example, the cuts to the Medicaid program in particular would have a significant impact on the ability of the safety net providers to maintain current levels of service," he said. So while it's a long term problem, the cuts that are being discussed could make that long term problem more acute in the short term.

The commission plans to begin forming a list of recommendations to improve the system over the next few months.