Politics & Government

$60 million Medicaid funding cut will affect 155 primary care clinics

FRANKFORT — More than 150 primary care providers will lose $60 million in supplemental Medicaid payments beginning in February, state health officials announced Wednesday.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services told the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in December that it can no longer give supplemental payments to 155 primary health care providers because they no longer have the correct federal designation.

The change will affect more than half of Kentucky's 273 primary care providers. Approximately 118 will continue to receive the supplemental payments because they have the correct federal designation.

The supplemental payments were used to offset the difference between the cost to provide care and what the state's three Medicaid managed care companies reimburse the primary care providers.

Medicaid is a state-federal program for the poor, elderly and disabled. The state moved more than 520,000 people to managed care in November 2011.

The changes go into effect on Feb. 1, state officials said.

"We are deeply saddened by this," said Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes. "We value these important primary care providers. We think there are a good number of (the 155 providers) that could easily meet the federal qualifications now or with just a few additions."

The process for medical providers to apply for the correct federal designation takes between 90 and 120 days.

UK Healthcare owns one of the 155 centers that will lose its supplemental Medicaid payments.

Kristi Lopez, a spokeswoman for UK Healthcare, said it's too early to say how the loss of the supplemental payments will affect UK Healthcare. The medical center is "currently assessing to determine the impact," Lopez said.

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