Talks of Higher Medicaid Pay from Capitol Hill

Although states control Medicaid payment rates, federal government members agree that providers need higher reimbursements. MedPage Today reports:

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, suggested Wednesday that Congress do one thing that can be done from Washington: extend the temporary payment increase Medicaid primary care providers are seeing, bringing their reimbursements on par with those of Medicare. The change impacts general pediatricians, general internists, and family physicians.

The Affordable Care Act allowed for this bump in pay for 2013 and 2014 with the federal government paying the difference, but Waxman suggested it be extended beyond next year. "Any member concerned about access to doctors for Medicaid beneficiaries should surely embrace that," he said.

Medicaid on average pays 66% of Medicare rates, Seema Verma, MPH, a health policy consultant with Strategic Health Policy Solutions in Carmel, Ind., told lawmakers at the committee hearing, entitled "The Need for Medicaid Reform."

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