Dr. Osborn Testifies in Support of Medicaid Reimbursement Relief
At press time:
An ISMS initiative to deliver urgently needed Medicaid reimbursement relief to Illinois physicians (SB 2173 and HB 5019) successfully cleared the respective Senate and House Committees reviewing the legislation.
Committee members agreed in principle with ISMS’ proposal to raise Medicaid reimbursements to Medicare rates, but expressed deep concerns with the estimated $400 million price tag.
In March 11th testimony delivered to the Senate Public Health Committee, ISMS President Rodney C. Osborn, MD, described the moral dilemma facing physicians who can no longer absorb the losses associated with caring for Medicaid patients.
“Whether these choices include limiting the number of Medicaid patients or dropping out of the Medicaid program altogether, many doctors are struggling with their desire to provide care for all versus the stark reality that they still need to pay office expenses like rent, staff salaries, medical liability insurance and medical equipment.”
According to the Illinois Adequate Health Care Task Force final report (2007), Illinois Medicaid
reimburses physicians on average only 56 percent of what Medicare pays for the same care. Medicaid reimbursements amount to approximately one-third of the actual cost of providing care in many cases, according to some specialists.
ISMS’ Medicaid reimbursement relief initiative would:
Increase physician Medicaid reimbursement rates to federal Medicare rates, the maximum amount matched by federal funds.
Require that Medicaid payment policies be no more restrictive than Medicare payment policies.
Create a 30-day payment cycle. Medicaid would be subject to the same prompt payment rules as private payors.
Read more at www.isms.org.
Dr. Osborn emphasized that setting Medicaid rates to Medicare rates would provide physicians with
crucial financial “breathing room” to continue participating in the Medicaid program.
“We’re very concerned that Medicaid expansion programs like All Kids and Family Care will grant coverage ‘in name only’ if abysmal Medicaid reimbursement rates continue, because patients won’t be able to find participating doctors to care for them.”
Contact: Jim Tierney, 800-782-4767 ext. 2484 or email@example.com