Physicians Push for Extension of Medicaid Reimbursement Increase
A group of 21 physician associations and health care organizations has asked lawmakers to extend an increase in Medicaid reimbursements for primary care physicians under the Affordable Care Act that is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, Modern Healthcare reports (Robeznieks, Modern Healthcare, 6/16).
Under the ACA, the federal government was expected to spend $11 billion to bring Medicaid reimbursement rates for PCPs in line with rates paid by Medicare beginning Jan. 1, 2013. The provision was designed to incentivize physicians to accept more Medicaid beneficiaries ahead of the ACA's Medicaid expansion (California Healthline, 8/20/13).
The letter was sent last week to:
- Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah);
- House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-Mich.);
- Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.); and
- Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
In the letter, the groups -- which include the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Physicians -- requested that lawmakers extend the temporary measure for at least an additional two years.
In addition, the groups asked that PCPs offering ob-gyn services also receive Medicaid reimbursement increases because nearly half of all births in the U.S. are covered by Medicaid.
The groups wrote that the higher reimbursements are "critical to ensuring access to primary care, leading to better quality of care for patients and decreased costs for the states" (Modern Healthcare, 6/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.