Implementation of Several Affordable Care Act Provisions Delayed
The Obama administration has missed the deadline for implementing several Affordable Care Act provisions, as it focuses on meeting the law's requirements for the health insurance exchanges and the Medicaid expansion, Kaiser Health News/MedPage Today reports.
The four ACA provisions scheduled to take effect Jan. 1 that are delayed are:
- Increased reimbursements for primary care physicians who treat Medicaid beneficiaries;
- Changes in how hospitals and physicians are paid through Medicare;
- Increased federal funding for states that eliminate copayments for preventive care; and
- Guidance on how states are to implement a new coverage option called the "basic health program," which is aimed at helping low- and middle-income families who do not qualify for Medicaid gain coverage.
The administration has issued guidance on all but one of the provisions, the basic health program. According to KHN/MedPage Today, that delay means that certain low- and middle-income families in states that already use federal funding to offer applicable coverage -- including Minnesota, New York and Washington -- might not have access to affordable coverage in 2014, because those states are scheduled to end their programs in anticipation of the basic health program's implementation. HHS said that the rules for the basic health program would be released soon.
According to KHN/MedPage Today, guidance on the increased Medicaid physician reimbursements was not released until November 2012, and a number of states have not yet had time to implement the change. CMS said that physicians will be able to collect increased reimbursements retroactive to Jan. 1 once the states implement the provision (Galewitz, Kaiser Health News/Medpage Today, 2/2).
Meanwhile, the administration on Friday released guidance on how states can apply for a 1% increase in their federal Medicaid matching rate if they eliminate copays for beneficiaries on certain preventive services (Galewitz, "Capsules," Kaiser Health News, 2/1).