Physician Advocacy on State Budget Continues

With just hours to go before the end of the fiscal year lawmakers passed a revised state budget on Wednesday.  Physician participants in White Coat Wednesday from Wayne, Wake and Mecklenburg Counties met with their legislators to discuss Medicaid provider rates and the detrimental effects of the additional cuts to Medicaid proposed in the supplemental budget, should Congress fail to extend additional Medicaid stimulus funding (FMAP).

Even though the budget has been signed by Governor Perdue, there is still time for technical changes to be made to the budget before legislators adjourn session. This is why your advocacy is more important than ever right now.  This budget includes deeper cuts to reimbursement for your service than was expected in the base budget as well as targeting you in a short list of additional cuts that will be enacted on January 1, 2011 should Congress fail to provide renewed assistance. 

NCMS believes that physicians should be exempted from the additional cuts outlined in the budget.  Physicians have taken one of the largest percentage reductions of any single group in the budget all the while being expected to save the state an additional $245 million dollars through the Community Care of NC (CCNC) program.  Click here for talking points to call your legislator now.

Here are three Medicaid rate cuts of top concern to physicians:

Base Budget reduction

  1. Continuation of the 9% Medicaid provider rates reduction established last year.  This will achieve $101 million dollars in savings for the state.  DHHS was only expected to save $82 million in this budget year.  By continuing the existing rate cut, providers will already be contributing nearly $19 million in new savings that were hidden in this budget. 

Supplemental budget reductions (enacted if Congress fails to extend FMAP)

  1. $26.6 million cut to Medicaid provider rates – sold as 1% reduction, but NCMS expects this to be greater than 1% because of the groups exempted from the cut
  2. $177 million or 1% management reduction across all Departments – $40 million of this target is expected to be placed on DHHS – NCMS is working to ensure that this savings cannot be achieved on the backs of the providers that would already be sacrificing over $125 million dollars should this cut be necessary.

A complete run down of provisions in the 2010-2011 Continuation Budget will be forthcoming in our Legislative Summary.

 
 

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