Medicaid ending payment boost for primary care doctors

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama’s Medicaid program has announced its first major cut due to budget cuts.

The Medicaid Agency announced Wednesday that it would end enhanced reimbursement payments for primary care doctors beginning Aug. 1.

Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar said it was a “difficult, but necessary cut due to the budget crisis the Medicaid Agency is facing.”

The “primary care bump” put some Medicaid primary care reimbursement rates on par with Medicare rates. It was designed to get more doctors to serve Medicaid patients.

Alabama lawmakers this spring approved a budget that was $85 million short of what Gov. Robert Bentley said was needed to fund the state’s Medicaid program.

The payment cuts are expected to save $14.7 million.

Agency officials have said additional cuts are expected.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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