Providers Close Doors to Poor
Entrants: Marshall Allen
Affiliation: Las Vegas Sun
Place: Second Place
Budget cuts in the state's Medicaid program are forcing a major shift in where Nevada's poor can seek health care. Low-income cancer patients will have nowhere else to be treated after the only public hospital closes its oncology ward. And Medicaid children with orthopedic needs will have to leave the state, because specialists no longer take their insurance coverage.
Judges' comments: A smart, forward-looking report on how the economic crisis is exacerbating the already flawed and underfunded Medicaid program. The reporting goes beyond describing the immediate impact of providers shuttering services for the poor to raising the potential long term "pay- me-now or pay-me-later" consequences of shortchanging basic preventive care.
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