Alabama physicians get financial boost from Medicaid with restored funds

The Alabama Medicaid Agency plans to restore enhanced payments to primary care physicians, reports Montgomery Advertiser.

The primary care physicians "bump" was cut last month amid a shortfall in state funding, according to the article. The restoration takes effect Oct. 1.

"Earlier this year, we were forced to make the difficult decision to cut the primary care physicians bump; however, it was always my intention to restore it, when the funding became available," Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R), MD, said in a statement. "As a physician, I know firsthand the importance of Medicaid and how it helps millions of Alabamians and physicians across our state."

The cut to the "bump" reduced reimbursements for a number of services, according to the report. For instance, physicians saw reimbursements for a 25-minute office visit fall from $101 to $67, the report states. State physicians' groups said many practices laid off employees after the cuts took effect.

But earlier this month, Alabama lawmakers approved a plan to provide money the program deemed necessary to maintain services and create regional care organizations to slow cost growth in the program, according to the report.

The "bump," paid for with state and federal funding, will total $49 million.



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