Increased primary care service fees begin this month

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states must raise the Medicaid fees they pay for primary care services provided by family physicians, internists, pediatricians, and nurse practitioners and physician assistants to the level Medicare pays for those services.  The federal government will cover 100% of the increased payments which became effective January 1, 2013 and will continue through 2014.  The purpose of this section of the ACA was to increase the availability of primary care providers in anticipation of increased demand beginning in 2014 under Medicaid expansion.  On average, in 2012, the fees paid for Medicaid primary care services were about 58% of those paid by Medicare.  The increase will especially benefit individuals who are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid since primary care providers now will receive the full Medicare amount.  Additional information about the increased primary care service fees is available from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.