Slow Start for Medicaid Fee-for-Service Rate Bump

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.

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.

The initiative got off to a late start when the CMS did not issue its final rule on the program until Nov. 1 last year. States had until March 31 to submit a plan to the CMS, which then had 90 days to approve them or ask for revisions. California remains the only state without an approved plan. But no matter how late approval is received, the payments are retroactive to Jan. 1, 2013.

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Source: Modern Healthcare

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.