Missouri primary care doctors are facing a cut to their reimbursement rate for treating Medicaid patients, as a two-year rate boost from the Affordable Care Act is set to expire at the end of this year.
In order to encourage doctors to accept Medicaid patients, doctors were reimbursed at a higher rate under the policy. About 3,200 physicians are designated as general practitioners for the Missouri Medicaid program.
The GOP, who triumphed in the mid-term election, was resistant to fully repeal the law to fix the Affordable Care Act. At least 15 states have agreed to foot the bill for the higher reimbursement rate by themselves. But Missouri isn’t among them.
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon asked lawmakers to continue the higher rates by sharing about $20 million for the fiscal year in his budget request. But the Republican-led Legislature approved only $4 million. Nixon finally vetoed this money as part of a showdown with Republicans over tax breaks.
Now, Missourian doctors are struggling with whether to restrict Medicaid recipients and how to adjust the services to account for the new conditions.