Alabama to cut Medicaid payments
Alabama doctors will be paid less for handling certain cases for the state’s Medicaid agency. As of August 1st, Alabama will no longer compensate doctors for what are known as “enhanced payments” for specific primary care visits and services. The higher than usual fees were paid for by the Federal Affordable Care Act in 2013 and 2014. Alabama chose to continue the higher payments in 2015, but elected to cancel them. The state’s Medicaid Agency is in the midst of what Governor Robert Bentley is calling a budget crisis. Cutting the enhanced fees will reportedly save the state close to fifteen million dollars. Bentley asked state lawmakers for $785 million dollars for Medicaid. The House and Senate allocated $700 and passed the budget over the Governor’s veto. Bentley will call the legislature into special session in mid-August to talk about asking voters to create a state lottery. The proceeds would reportedly go to help fund Medicaid.