Modern Healthcare: Medicaid pay bump helps beneficiaries get appointments

Increased Medicaid reimbursement for primary-care services to match Medicare rates led to an increased appointments for Medicaid patients, a new study finds.

But those care access gains could be wiped out this year because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s provision authorizing the bump expired Dec. 31, 2014, according to a study published Jan. 21 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Our findings suggest that providing higher Medicaid payments is an effective strategy for ensuring access to enrollees among already participating primary care providers,” the study authors wrote.
The availability of primary-care appointments for Medicaid beneficiaries in surveyed areas grew from 58.7% to 66.4% when comparing the two time periods studied: November 2012 through March 2013; and May 2014 through July 2014.

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