Medicaid Pay Hike Opened Doors For Patients, Study Finds

Money talks.

A temporary Medicaid pay raise that was part of President Barack Obama’s health law made it easier for poor adults to get appointments with primary care doctors, according to a study published Wednesday.

Paying more to doctors who participate in the federal-state insurance program for the poor usually improves access for patients, but the law’s two-year limit on the raise, its slow rollout and other regulatory problems made many skeptical about how physicians would react to the extra money — which in many states equated to a 50 percent pay hike or more.

[doctor money 570] The federally funded pay raise started in 2013 and ended Dec. 31, though a few states have continued the higher rates using their own money. The money was included in the health law to ensure there would be enough doctors to handle the surge of people who gained Medicaid coverage starting in 2014. Under the law, Medicaid would pay the same rates to family physicians, pediatricians and internists as Medicare, the federal health program for the elderly and disabled. The higher reimbursement was available whether or not states expanded Medicaid.

Go to top