Nixon vetoes push to charge for missed Medicaid appointments

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.  _ Missouris governor has vetoed a measure that would have allowed the state’s doctors to charge Medicaid patients fees for missing appointments without advance notice.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon rejected Senate Bill 608 on Tuesday, saying the legislation “would needlessly punish our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”

Under the measure sent to Nixon on May 25, Medicaid providers could have incrementally charged patients for missing appointments if they didn’t give 24-hour notice.

The fees would have been $5 for the second missed appointment, $10 for the third and $20 for the fourth and each subsequent one. Health care providers would have been required to waive the fee in cases of inclement weather.

The bill also would have allowed providers to refuse to schedule new appointments until the missed appointment fee is paid.