New report calls for Medicaid pay parity beyond 2014
A policy adopted Monday outlined in a report by the AMA Council on Medical Service directs the AMA to continue its efforts to extend a Medicaid payment increase that has been in effect since 2013 so low-income patients continue to have access to essential primary care services to stay healthy.
The report explains that without the federally mandated payment increase, which makes Medicaid rates for certain primary care services 100 percent of Medicare rates, current rates in the state-based program average 66 percent of Medicare rates. Such low rates are “insufficient to ensure access to care for Medicaid patients and adequate payment to physicians providing care to these patients,” the report states.
A number of states are unlikely to continue the increased rates next year when federal funds that make up the payment increase no longer are available.
In addition to calling for a continuation of the Medicaid primary care payment increases, the policy also states that obstetricians and gynecologists should be eligible to receive the payment increase for evaluation and management codes as well as vaccine administration codes.
The AMA already has supported a federal bill introduced in July that would extend the Medicaid primary care payment increase and will continue to support measures to ensure patients have access to the care they need.