Blog | Thursday, May 10, 2012

QD: News Every Day--Internists to see Medicaid pay rise to match Medicare rates

Primary care physicians serving Medicaid patients would see their payments rise under a proposed rule announced by Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency announced.

The increase would take effect for calendar years 2013 and 2014. States would receive a total of more than $11 billion in new funds to bolster their Medicaid primary care delivery systems.

The proposed rule would implement the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that Medicaid reimburse general internal medicine, family medicine, pediatric medicine, and related subspecialists at Medicare levels. The federal government will fund the increase entirely, with no matching payments required of states.

Other recently announced initiatives under the Affordable Care Act include grants to help build and expand community health centers.

Also, HHS announced that more than 150,000 primary care providers nationwide received almost $560 million in higher Medicare payments in 2011 under provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

In other news, two members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a measure calling for a permanent fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate formula currently used to pay doctors. The Hill reports that one of the lawmakers, an osteopathic physician, called the bill a way to begin a conversation about long-term Medicare reforms.