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Xipe Totec

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Current location: The Republic of Texas
Member since: Thu Apr 8, 2004, 06:04 PM
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Neurologist Unable to get Payment from Managed Care Organizations

HIDALGO COUNTY - A Mission neurologist is struggling to keep his practice afloat as he waits to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars from insurance companies.

Dr. Miguel Gutierrez said the companies owe him for services he already provided to patients.

Since the rollout of managed care, several insurance companies now coordinate coverage for those patients on Medicaid or Medicare. He said the change brought a whole new world of paperwork and past-due bills.

Gutierrez said he works at least 70 hours a week. He has to see at least 55 patients just to break even.

Lisa Luna is one of those patients.

"He's the one that's been helping me. The other doctor didn't help me at all," Luna said.

"One after another, one after another ... all day long. If I go slow, I'm in trouble in the afternoon," he said.


Doctor Struggles to Keep Practice Afloat


Everything changed last year when managed care made its way to the Valley. Gutierrez said he had to take out a loan in early 2013 to keep his practice afloat.

Gutierrez said he wrote a letter to President Obama asking for help. He said it is ultimately the patients who suffer the consequences of managed care.

Gutierrez said many doctors are closing their practices and moving out of the Valley.

Gutierrez said most of his patients are on Medicare or Medicaid.

"You should see the stacks of paper in billing. They send it back if there is a little mistake ... and they don't tell you what the mistake is. You have to do everything," Gutierrez said.

He said the paperwork is just the beginning.
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