MAFP Advocacy Committee Vice Chair Glenn Dregansky, DO, FAAFP (Kalamazoo) testified on March 7 before the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. During his testimony, Dr. Dregansky highlighted the importance of the Medicaid Primary Care Fee Uplift, which raises Medicaid reimbursement rates for primary care physicians to 78% of Medicare rates.
The policy as originally included in the Affordable Care Act was entirely federally funded and brought Medicaid rates for primary care services for eligible primary care physicians into parity with Medicare rates. Since federal funding lapsed in 2014, each year the Governor has requested—and the legislature has concurred with—funding an uplift at a reduced level.
While the uplift is an improvement from how the state has historically paid primary care physicians for caring for Medicaid patients, Dr. Dregansky emphasized that we can do better and he encouraged the committee to explore options for further augmenting the uplift. In doing so, he highlighted a January 2018 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that demonstrated a link between rates and appointment availability, or access.