Noteworthy News

Medicaid Pay Raise Isn’t Reaching Docs

The Affordable Care Act-mandated fee increase for primary care physicians serving Medicaid patients is not reaching those physicians.

Or so reports the Washington Post, which writes that only a few states are paying primary care providers more money to serve Medicaid patients.

The pay raise is considered an important tool to help encourage more primary care providers to serve Medicaid patients at a time when Medicaid enrollment is expected to increase significantly because of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion provisions.  Under the health reform law, Medicaid payments for primary care services, traditionally very low, are to be raised to the same level as Medicare primary care payments for two years – calendar years 2013 and 2014.

Five months into 2013, however, only Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Michigan are making the higher payments.

Because they already serve so many Medicaid patients and expect a significant increase in the number of Medicaid patients they serve when Medicaid expansion takes effect (in states that are expanding Medicaid eligibility), this Medicaid pay increase is especially important to the nation’s private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals.

Learn more about the thinking behind the pay raise and why most states still are not paying it in thisiStock_000014445371XSmall Washington Post article.

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