Signatures are due January 12th, Noon ET!

OMO has signed onto a letter in support of increased payment rates for Medicaid. Medicaid payment rates are currently much lower than Medicare payment rates, and the gap continues to widen. As a result, more and more health care providers are declining participation in Medicaid. The House health reform bill contains a provision (s.1721) that would “increase the payment rate for primary care service codes over three years so that they equal the Medicare payment rates for those services.”

However, the Senate version does not have this provision, and the White House did not budget for it. Unless we speak up immediately and contact our legislators, it is likely that this provision will not make it into final health reform bill.  Please make your voices heard by contacting your Senators and Representatives and by signing onto letters like the one below.

From the HIV Medical Association…

Dear Majority Leader Reid, Speaker Pelosi and Chairmen Rangel, Waxman, Miller, Baucus, Dodd and Harkin:

As you craft the final health care reform bill, the undersigned organizations urge you to ensure meaningful access to care under the proposed Medicaid expansion by adopting the House provision to bring Medicaid reimbursement rates for primary care in line with comparable Medicare rates within four years.

While we strongly support expanding Medicaid to extend health coverage to low income individuals, we are very concerned that failure to address reimbursement disparities will weaken an already fragile network of Medicaid providers at a time when the demand for their services will be growing.

Medicaid rates average just 66% of Medicare rates for primary care services and are woefully inadequate to cover the cost of providing care.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, the planned expansion will increase enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program by as many as 15 million beneficiaries.  Those who rely on Medicaid to meet their health care needs include millions of low-income women, children, minorities and individuals with disabilities.   The inadequacy of Medicaid reimbursement levels must be addressed in conjunction with the Medicaid expansion or we risk leaving our poorest and most medically-vulnerable residents behind despite the remarkable promise offered by health reform.

Please give high priority to ensuring access to care for Medicaid beneficiaries by adopting the House provision to adjust Medicaid payments for primary care to at least 100 percent of Medicare rates.

Thank you for your consideration.


American Academy of Family Physicians
American College of Physicians
Doctors for America
HIV Medicine Association
The National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems
Out of Many, One

To sign onto this letter, please click here: . Please sign on by Tuesday (1/12) Noon ET.

Thanks to the National Health Law Program ( for alerting us.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, January 10th, 2010 at 1:49 pm and is filed under Health Parity Alerts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.