The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
relies heavily on expanding Medicaid eligibility to increase insurance coverage and healthcare access. But its authors had to make sure that physicians
would accept new Medicaid patients. So congressional Democrats included a temporary pay increase that ups fees for primary-care doctors serving Medicaid patients to Medicare rates for 2013 and 2014. Still, implementation
has been slow.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, at least 26 states now are paying the increased Medicaid fee-for-service rate. Among the first to do so were Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Wyoming.