New identification cards for West Virginia Medicaid recipients are drawing complaints from some doctors who say the system's cost could force them to turn away some patients.
The state plans to begin distributing the plastic magnetic-swipe cards, which will replace paper cards, to Medicaid recipients in April. The cards can be swiped through a machine to verify patients' eligibility for Medicaid.
Some doctors say they cannot afford to buy the machines, which cost $300 to $600 each, and pay a 30 cent fee that will be charged each time a card is swiped.
Doctors' offices and clinics will not be required to buy the machines. They can verify a patient's eligibility by making a toll-free telephone call or accessing a secure Web site, said Shannon Landrum, a legislative liaison for the state Bureau for Medical Services.