Primary care doctors facing new cuts in reimbursements

Advocates for primary care were in Albany this week making the case that Governor Andrew Cuomo is cutting Medicaid reimbursements at the same time the state is trying to emphasize its importance.

A new round of cuts could take effect as soon as April 1, when the state plans to eliminate incentive payments for roughly 6,000 National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)-recognized Patient-Centered Medical Home primary care doctors, who provide care to 2 million Medicaid recipients across New York. What Cuomo has proposed is tying these incentive payments to new, tougher standards.

That's fine, but doctors need more, said Daniel Lowenstein, senior director of public affairs for the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC), a non-profit that promotes primary care.

Currently, he said, no physicians have met the most recent NCQA standards, which place a greater emphasis on integrating health information technology and behavioral health care services into primary care. Physicians are unlikely to meet the new guidelines in the next two weeks, meaning they could lose out on as much as $30 million in incentive payments.

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