Some state doctors could see more money in their reimbursement checks from Medicaid beginning next month.
A provision in President Obama‘s Affordable Care Act temporarily increases Medicaid reimbursements for primary care physicians to the level of Medicare reimbursements.
Medicare pays better than Medicaid — a Kaiser Family Foundation report found West Virginia’s Medicaid program paid only 74 cents for every dollar spent by Medicare in 2012 — but both government insurance programs still pay far less than private insurance. And as Evan Jenkins, director of the West Virginia State Medical Association, recently told me, it would be nearly impossible for a doctor’s office to survive financially on Medicaid reimbursements.
In other news…
- The West Virginia Lottery finished its 2013 fiscal year way above projections — $190 million above, to be precise — but revenues still fell far short of 2012′s revenues, due to increased competition from casinos in neighboring states. The Lottery brought in $1.33 billion in 2013, a 30 percent drop from 2012 revenues, which were $1.45 billion.
- The Regional Jail Authority is trying to find a way to combat synthetic drugs in its facilities. The drugs are smuggled into the jails, often in pretty ingenious ways. Officials told me individuals sometimes take the narcotic Suboxone, crush it up, mix it with water and paint it on a piece of notebook paper. The author will include a secret message within their letter to let inmates know where the Suboxone was painted. The inmates can then eat that part of the letter and get high.
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