Governor Addresses NC Medicaid Rates

Governor Beverly Perdue today announced her intention to roll back Medicaid provider rate reductions that were to be implemented next week.  The announcement came in a meeting this morning with representatives of the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS), the North Carolina Hospital Association (NCHA) and the North Carolina Healthcare Facilities Association (NCHFA). Changes in the wording of the State’s budget will be required to achieve this reversal.  The changes would allow use of increases in funding for the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to avoid rate cuts.  The Governor is expected to meet next week with legislative leaders, seeking commitments to make the wording change early next year.  Physicians, hospitals and nursing home representatives will be contacting legislative leaders to ask for their support as well.  We thank Governor Perdue for her decision.

“We want to thank NCHA President Bill Pully and NCHFA President Craig Sousa for their support in working with the governor to achieve the rollback,” NCMS EVP, CEO Robert Seligson said.

Earlier this week, the NCMS and NCHA sent letters to the editor of the News & Observer in an effort to clarify the issues surrounding the organizations’ opposition to a proposed 1.35% cut in Medicaid physician payments. The letters were in response to an article published by the newspaper on August 22.

In the letters, Mr. Seligson and Mr. Pully offered evidence of how the Medicaid budget had been cut twice in the past two years, with physicians and hospitals receiving fewer Medicaid dollars as health care costs continue to rise.  Both leaders pointed out that Congress recently gave the state an additional  $124 million, making a third cut in the Medicaid budget unnecessary.

Read the article, “Doctors bicker with Gov. Perdue over Medicaid reimbursement,” by Benjamin Niolet.

Read the NCMS letter to the editor. “Medicaid and Medical Providers,” Aug. 25.

Read the NCHA letter to the editor, “Strains on Medicaid,” Aug. 24.


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1 Comment

  • Scott Bennett, MD

    So will this mean reimbursement drops until they “get around” to changing the wording next year, or will they continue at the current abysmal rate? If the former, my office will be cutting Medicaid slots even further. My partner met with Sen. Tony Foriest last year after the big Medicaid cut. Sen. Foriest was surprised to learn that we do not HAVE to see Medicaid patients. I guess some of those people think they have us by the…ummmm….stethoscopes. Physicians need to unite in refusing to play ball with the government on poor reimbursement. Keep in mind a portion of the “Health Care Reform” is warmed over Medicaid…unleashing people at 133% of the poverty level on an already underfunded system. Tenncare did it in the 90’s and it was a disaster. If you value financial solvency, you need to be proactive people!