NC is counting on more than $500 million dollars in additional stimulus money that has yet to be approved. Senior leaders in both chambers have told the NCMS that the additional federal money is vital to maintaining the already reduced provider rates being paid. If congress fails to act in the coming week, budget writers in North Carolina are likely to be forced to make additional cuts to Medicaid. Physician and other medical provider service rates are most often mentioned as a place that cuts would have to be made in that scenario.
For years, legislators have been told that NC providers are being paid more than nearly every other state in the union. While the percentage of Medicare that NC providers receive for their rate may be higher than others, the actual dollars received are not significantly different because the base rates vary from state to state. In addition, if you compare participation in neighboring states, the number and quality of NC physicians caring for Medicaid patients is incomparable.
NC has worked for the last two decades to ensure that there is no difference between the care delivered to a citizen that can pay verses one of our neediest citizens. This is a goal that cannot be lost, even when money is tight. NCMS continues to advocate for the protection of physician services to ensure a robust network of physicians participating in the Medicaid program.