Will Physicians See Medicaid Provider Rates Go Up in New NC Budget?

The North Carolina House of Representatives released a budget proposal June 17.  In addition to raising salaries for state employees and adding funding for child care needs, the proposal also boosts Medicaid provider rates and enhances reimbursements for some psychiatric hospitals.

The North Carolina Medical Society find this encouraging, but it remains to be seen if the increase will be included in the Senate proposal.

Rose Hoban and Grace Vitaglione of NC Health News say the $31.7 billion proposal is the “House’s opening play in the annual tug-of-war between that chamber and the state Senate over whose priorities will be most reflected in the final budget document.”

The House plan directs $9 million to increase Medicaid provider reimbursement rates for durable medical equipment, and $4 million for speech language and audiology therapy service. The plan also sweeps freestanding psychiatric hospitals into the healthcare access and stabilization program, which was rolled out last year as part of Medicaid expansion. The program provides increased Medicaid reimbursements for hospitals, but currently, only acute care hospitals are in the program. The enhanced payments would not apply to state-operated hospitals.