A proposed 5% cut in Medicaid payments to Texas physicians would prompt one-third of family physicians in the state to exit the Medicaid program, according to a survey released today by the Texas Academy of Family Physicians.
The survey, taken April 17-22, shows that about 89% of the state's family physicians currently participate in the Medicaid program; just 59% of those say they would continue participating in the program if the proposed cut goes into effect.
Like other states beset with plummeting revenues, the Texas Legislature is considering ways to clamp down on Medicaid expenses. The Texas House included the 3% cut in its recently passed state budget, and the cut is now before the Texas Senate, the academy reports.
If the cut goes through, "there will be a mass exodus of physicians forced to leave the Medicaid program," warns Robert Hogue, M.D., president of the organization, in a release. As a result, "more and more patients will be stranded without access to health care and limited physician choice."
The academy adds that, already, "Medicaid fees fall woefully short of covering those costs. In fact, Medicaid currently pays only about 50 cents on the dollar (billed)."