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Reformed Medicaid program must put coordinated care at forefront of efforts
Date:4/8/2011

SAN DIEGO, April 8, 2011 -- A reformed Medicaid program must put coordinated primary care at the forefront of its efforts, the American College of Physicians (ACP) said in a new position paper released today at Internal Medicine 2011, ACP's annual scientific meeting. Medicaid and Health Care Reform highlights how primary care physicians will assume a major role in providing care to Medicaid beneficiaries.

"The Medicaid program faces significant changes in the next few years as millions of current and newly eligible people will receive Medicaid coverage," said J. Fred Ralston Jr., MD, FACP, president of ACP. "With this challenge comes the opportunity to reform Medicaid to ensure its future sustainability and solvency."

ACP's paper contends that the program must do more to ensure that physicians can afford to provide care, that information can be shared across the health care infrastructure, and that administrative burdens are mitigated to allow physicians more time to care for patients. It emphasizes quality care over volume-based care and says the programs will need to provide beneficiaries with more options to meet their long-term care needs.

The 38-page paper provides brief updates on changes to the program over the last three to four years and makes a dozen recommendations on how the Medicaid program can be improved to ensure access and sustainability in the future:

  • The Medicaid program should serve as the coverage foundation for low-income children, adults, and families regardless of categorical eligibility. Medicaid minimum eligibility standards should be uniform on a national basis, and federally mandated Medicaid coverage expansions should be fully subsidized by the federal government. Further, policymakers should refrain from enacting policy changes that would result in vulnerable persons being dropped from Medicaid coverage.

  • Medicaid payment rates must be adequate to reimburse physicians a
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Contact: Steve Majewski
smajewski@acponline.org
619-525-6229
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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