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Congress Passes Medical Assistance Program for States
Move Averts Possible Cuts to Physician Payments
H.R. 1586 (20-page PDF; About PDFs) provides states with $16.1 billion for increased FMAP funding during the first six months of 2011 before gradually phasing out the increased rate. The measure provides a 3.2 percentage point increase in FMAP funding for the second quarter of the 2011 federal fiscal year, which ends on March 31. That amount phases down to a 1.2 percentage point increase in the third quarter of 2011, which ends on June 30.
Although the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided a 6.2 percentage point increase in the FMAP for each state's Medicaid program to assist with the increased demand for services caused by the recession, that increase was scheduled to expire on Dec. 31. Without the extension, many states would have had to cut budgets, putting Medicaid payments to physicians at risk, along with patient access to Medicaid.
AAFP, Other Primary Care Organizations Urge Rapid Senate Approval of Extended Medicaid Benefits
Senate Delay Could Result in Medicaid Cuts to Physicians