Some Medicaid doctors to receive reimbursement rates that equal Medicare's

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Physicians providing primary care services to Medicaid beneficiaries will see a federal payment increase to bring Medicaid payments in line with those of Medicare payments, government officials announced Wednesday.

The proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would be applied to calendar years 2013 and 2014, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Under the regulation, Medicaid will reimburse family medicine, general internal medicine, pediatric medicine and related subspecialists at Medicare levels.

The increase will be paid solely by the federal government without matching payments paid by the states, said Cindy Mann, deputy administrator of CMS and director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, during a conference call on Wednesday. Additionally, the proposed rule gives states $11 billion in new funds to bolster their Medicaid primary care delivery systems, which are expected to be besieged by many more beneficiaries soon, she said.

The regulation is part of CMS' ongoing goal of improving access to primary care and preventive health services — efforts that can help keep older adults in their homes and communities and out of nursing homes.

Click here to read the proposed rule, which will be published in the Federal Register on May 11.

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