Medicaid rate increases for providers are coming next year
Providers across the country can expect to score higher Medicaid reimbursement next year, but inpatient hospitals may see cuts or rate freezes, according to a state Medicaid survey released Thursday.
Forty-seven states plan to offer at least one provider type a rate increase in fiscal 2019, Kaiser Family Foundation's survey showed. That could include primary-care doctors, specialists, home care aides or nursing homes. While at least one provider type in 31 states can expect a rate decrease, that's the smallest number of rate restrictions since fiscal 2008.
"The relatively stable economies in most states has led to more making or planning to make provider rate increases," said Barbara Edwards, a senior fellow at Health Management Associates, which helped conduct the survey.
Specifically, 12 states including California and Kentucky said they plan to increase rates for primary-care doctors. Another 14 plan to offer specialists higher reimbursement, and 21 will do so for outpatient hospitals.
On the flip side, 27 states including Florida and Texas said they plan to cut or freeze rates for inpatient hospitals, according to the report.
States did not explain why inpatient hospitals were not on the list for raises next year, Edwards said.
Twenty-four states, including Indiana and Colorado, are also planning to expand Medicaid benefits next year. The most common benefit enhancements include mental health and substance use disorder services, physical and occupational therapies, screening and home visiting services for pregnant women and children.
In a separate spending report issued Thursday, states reported for the first time in a decade that there was no net growth in Medicaid enrollment during fiscal 2018. Overall enrollment growth declined slightly by -0.6% that year, according to the report.
Those findings echoed a Medicaid Health Plans of America report issued earlier this week.
States again claimed that the economy and positive fiscal conditions are contributing to flat enrollment growth, according to Robin Rudowitz, associate director for the Kaiser Family Foundation's Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured.
As people find better or more employment opportunities, they aren't needing Medicaid coverage, the report said.
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