Leveraging the Medicaid Rate Bump for Primary Care Providers

eAlert 7320461f-3975-4888-accb-f62b5de479f3

<p>One of the Affordable Care Act's key reforms to ensure better access to quality care is an increase in Medicaid's reimbursement for certain primary care providers, to put them at parity with Medicare providers. In a <a href="/blog/2011/leveraging-medicaid-provider-rate-increase-improve-primary-care">new post</a> to the Commonwealth Fund Blog, Nikki Highsmith of the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) argues that the rate increase, which will be in effect in 2013 and 2014, "opens a window to broader primary care payment reform that could drive the adoption of innovative models of primary care, including medical homes, health homes, and accountable care organizations." </p>
<p>Historically, Medicaid reimbursement for physician services has lagged far behind rates paid by private payers and Medicare. With the new rate bump, Medicaid agencies will have "a unique opportunity to lift all boats within their primary care systems," Highsmith says. </p>
<p>In her post, Highsmith highlights a newly launched CHCS initiative supported by The Commonwealth Fund that will provide practical guidance to Medicaid agencies and health plans on incorporating the rate increase into a broader strategy to reform primary care payment—one that not only expands access to care but fosters greater accountability. </p>