Medicaid has historically paid physicians lower fees than Medicare for the same services. The Affordable Care Act included a mandatory two-year increase in fees for primary care services to Medicare levels to address concerns about the effects of low reimbursement on access to care for Medicaid beneficiaries. As of 2016, 19 states have continued this fee bump in some form with state funds, suggesting that even a temporary federal policy had lasting effects on some states’ approaches to Medicaid reimbursement. These state-level policies provide an opportunity to gather additional evidence of Medicaid reimbursement’s effects on access to care.
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