Welcome to our healthcare updates June Healthcare Corner! Stay up to date on the latest happenings in the healthcare industry.
Proposed Health Care Law Increases Payments to Doctors for Primary Care
Primary care physicians serving Medicaid patients could see their Medicaid payments rise under a proposed rule announced on May 9, 2012, by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Crediting the Affordable Care Act, the increase could bring Medicaid primary care service fees in line with those paid by Medicare. The increase would be in effect for calendar years (CY) 2013 and 2014. States would receive a total of more than $11 billion in new funds to bolster their Medicaid primary care delivery systems.
The proposed rule would implement the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that Medicaid reimburse family medicine, general internal medicine, pediatric medicine, and related subspecialists at Medicare levels in CY 2013 and CY 2014. The increase in payment for primary care is paid entirely by the federal government with no matching payments required of States.
This proposed rule will help encourage primary care physicians to continue to increase their ability to provide checkups, preventative screenings, vaccines and other vital care to Medicaid beneficiaries.
Urgent Care Facilities Popping Up all over the Valley
Urgent care facilities have been growing in the Phoenix area, particularly the East Valley. These facilities provide a bridge between emergency room visits and physician office visits.
With the dwindling number of primary care physicians in the Valley, some people have to wait for days, sometimes weeks to get an appointment with a family physician. When they need care they may contemplate an emergency room visit, but co-pays for these types of visits are too expensive for some of the reasons patients may be seeking care.
Urgent Care facilities seem to fill in the void between these two entities. Many of the basic services an emergency room provides can be offered at an urgent care at a more affordable price, and, most times the wait to see a healthcare provider is much less.
Urgent Care facilities do not replace the emergency room, and all life threatening issues are still sent to the ER, but most non-life threatening issues can be dealt with at your local Urgent Care.
Bringing Quality Healthcare to the City of Maricopa
The 41,000-square-foot facility opened mid-May and has six staff physicians who practice family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and women’s health. The office also has 36 exam rooms, and basic imaging and laboratory services onsite.
The mayor of Maricopa, Anthony Smith stated in an interview that what most impressed him about Banner, is that they build the Center to be “distinctly Maricopan”. For the City’s young families the facility will provide pediatrics and OB/GYN services and to care for the older population, they will offer cardiology and orthopedic services.
The building is divided into two pods with identical examination rooms and offices, one for children and one for adults. Banner officials stated that as Maricopa’s population grows, the health center can be expanded to 80,000 square feet and be staffed with up to 40 physicians.