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Ohio Eases Access For Medicaid-Eligible Patients

State officials are hoping to more easily allow uninsured children and pregnant women in Ohio access to medical treatment, if they are likely to qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid provides coverage for the poor and disabled though state and federal funding. Determining whether a person is eligible for the program can take as long as 45 days. Ohio's Medicaid director said Tuesday he wants to cut that time by allowing certain health care providers to presume Medicaid eligibility for children and pregnant women. Patients would have to go through an initial screening process and then work with providers to complete the full Medicaid application. The pilot program is slated to start next week at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, MetroHealth System in Cleveland and the Community Action Committee of Pike County.