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With the effects of the economic recession wearing off and US states slowly picking up the reins of progress once again, a welcome Medicaid trend has been reported. Many states are boosting payment rates to certain healthcare professionals. Only a few states are considering Medicaid physician pay cuts as a solution to economic recovery.

It is reported that Medicaid spending growth reduced to almost record low levels in fiscal 2012. The pace of program enrollment growth also went down to 3.2%, and this is regarded as the lowest rate since the beginning of the recession. However, Medicaid’s overall spending level has not decreased; it is rather a slowing down. People are still spending on Medicaid and more people are enrolled in Medicaid.

The maintenance of effort requirements of the Affordable Care Act have succeeded in stabilizing eligibility because states cannot now drop low-income people in non-optional populations from enrolling for Medicaid.

Other related findings are:

  • In fiscal 2012, states had implemented pay rate reductions as a cost containment method. For the year 2013, that situation is poised to improve for healthcare professionals.
  • In 2014 it is expected that more than 17 million people will join Medicaid under the health system reform’s expansion provisions.
  • Around 12 states are planning to increase the payment for primary care physicians in fiscal 2013, and only three states are planning to reduce the payment rate. On the other hand, in 2012 only 2 states had introduced doctor pay increases while 16 states implemented rate restrictions.
  • No primary care physician is scheduled to receive a Medicaid pay cut in fiscal 2013.
  • Boosting primary care physician payments to Medicare rates for the year 2013 and 2014 is important from the viewpoint of maintaining physician participation and beneficiary access in Medicaid.

Considering the impact these periodic updates and changes have on the medical coding and billing scenario, physician practices can benefit from the services of a reliable medical billing and coding company. You can avail of their service at affordable rates and secure full reimbursement from payers for services provided to your patients.