Lawmaker Seeks to Increase Medicare Reimbursements
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Wednesday called for increased Medicare reimbursements to physicians in San Luis Obispo County, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reports.
McCarthy said the county's "number one health care issue" is "a disparity in the ability to recruit" physicians based on low reimbursement rates for treating Medicare patients.
The county is considered rural by CMS guidelines, causing physicians to receive lower Medicare reimbursement rates than their colleagues in urban counties.
McCarthy said he has worked with Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) to help retain physicians in the region.
Capps placed a provision in a bill to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program that would increase Medicare reimbursements by 1.3% in certain counties, including San Luis Obispo.
McCarthy, who opposes that bill, seeks to increase reimbursement rates through separate legislation. He has proposed that the county receive a federal designation as a medically underserved area, which could generate a 10% increase in Medicare reimbursement rates (Chen, San Luis Obispo Tribune, 8/23).