LOCAL

Ascension Counseling Center locations now Certified Medicaid Application Centers

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez announced Monday the Ascension Counseling Center has been certified as a Medicaid Application Center at its Gonzales and Donaldsonville locations.

Three of the center's staff members attended the Medicaid Application Center two-day training, passed a written exam, and are now qualified and certified to understand and follow Medicaid guidelines and procedures," said Suzanne Hamilton, director of the center. Additionally, their two managers have completed the Medicaid Management Orientation, she said.

Medicaid is a means of paying for the delivery of medical care to eligible needy individuals. In 1992, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals began recruiting and approving facilities statewide to become application centers for the task of assisting applicants with Medicaid applications.

The purpose of application centers is to provide outreach to individuals and families by interviewing and completing an initial application to Medicaid. Application centers make the Medicaid process more accessible to every citizen of Louisiana by providing services in the local community.

Hamilton said applications will be processed online for free in the Gonzales and Donaldsonville clinics with the help of one of the Medicaid representatives. There are several ways a resident can get started:

· By Phone: Call (225) 450-1016 and ask to speak to the Medicaid representative.

· In Person: Ask the receptionist at the front window to speak to the Medicaid representative.

· The Counselor: Anyone who is a client at the Center may ask their counselor to have someone help them apply for Medicaid.

The Gonzales clinic is located at 1112 S. E. Ascension Complex Blvd. and the Donaldsonville clinic is located at 419 Memorial Blvd. (next to Prevost Hospital).

"We will process applications for any Ascension Parish resident free of charge and they do not need to be receiving any other services from us," said Hamilton. "We have also qualified as service providers for Medicaid recipients with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals after an on-site facility inspection of our buildings was done. We demonstrated to Medicaid inspectors that our buildings, staff and programs meet their requirements."

Ascension Counseling Center is a department of Ascension Parish Government which provides outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment to children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families who are residents of Ascension Parish. The center is supported by a 2 mil property tax. Hamilton said the center's request to become a Certified Medicaid Application Center was supported by Parish President Tommy Martinez and the Ascension Parish Council, chaired by Councilman Chris Loar.