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States Encouraging Doctors to Accept Medicaid Expansion

Although Medicaid expansion does not work for many docs, states trying to find ways to make it work

MONDAY, Nov. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Although Medicaid expansion still does not work for many physicians, states are attempting to make the program more attractive, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

The article notes that states have rejected some of the Affordable Care Act’s provisions, most notably the opportunity to expand Medicaid. Although primary care physicians want to see the uninsured receive coverage through Medicaid expansion, the expansion is associated with low payment rates and administrative hassles; this is responsible for a decrease in the numbers of primary care doctors who accept new Medicaid patients.

Some states are taking steps to make Medicaid work. In Indiana, the state negotiated an agreement with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to give its Medicaid coverage more of a ‘private’ look. Indiana’s plan reimburses doctors treating Medicaid patients at the same rates as Medicare; after 2017, Indiana will pay for the newly-covered Medicaid population with federal Medicaid funds, cigarette tax, and a new $50 million annual assessment on hospitals.

“Ultimately, I think we are going to see just about every state getting more of the Medicaid expansion, some will be [in the] next two years, some may take another five or six or seven years, but I think they are all going to get there,” Bob Doherty, senior vice president for governmental affairs and public policy for the American College of Physicians, said in the article.

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