FIU Medical School Slow To Take Medicaid Cases

Ann McClure's picture
Tuesday, July 10, 2012

More than six years ago, when Florida International University secured the green light to create a new medical school at its West Miami-Dade main campus, the affirmative vote by the state’s Board of Governors was hailed as perhaps the most important in the university’s history.

Leading up to that “yes” vote, FIU leaders presented a finely tuned sales pitch that highlighted the expected benefits of a new med school: significant economic impact, increased numbers of minority physicians and increased access to healthcare among the region’s underserved populations.

“We have the largest concentration in the state of underserved citizens,” then-FIU President Modesto “Mitch” Maidique told the Board of Governors in a formal presentation prior to the key vote.

But now that FIU’s medical school is up and running — with a clinic that began seeing public patients in April — the school has been placed on the defensive because of the limited access it provides to a key segment of the medically underserved: Medicaid patients.

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