WASHINGTON, May 9 (UPI) -- Payments to primary care physicians with Medicaid patients will rise in 2013, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says.
Sebelius said because of the Affordable Care Act, primary care physicians will receive a boost in Medicaid funding in 2013 and 2014, bringing the Medicaid primary care service fees in line with those paid by Medicare. The increase is paid entirely by the federal government with no matching payments required of states, Sebelius said.
States would receive more than $11 billion in new funds to bolster their Medicaid primary care delivery systems, she said.
The proposed rule would implement the Affordable Care Act's requirement that Medicaid reimburse family medicine, general internal medicine, pediatric medicine and related sub-specialists at Medicare levels in 2013 and 2014.
Sebelius also announced that more than 150,000 primary care providers nationwide received almost $560 million in higher Medicare payments in 2011 because of the Affordable Care Act.
"Promoting high-quality primary care is a pillar of the Affordable Care Act, and this proposed rule helps States and physicians provide every American, no matter where they live, access to the care they need to stay healthy," Sebelius said in a statement. "This new rule can help improve health and reduce costs by preventing illnesses before they happen and catching small problems before they turn into big ones."