Pay boost for doctors treating low-income patients

AP News
Posted: May 09, 2012 1:37 PM
Pay boost for doctors treating low-income patients

The Obama administration is announcing a pay raise for primary care doctors who treat low-income patients.

But it may not last long.

The boost under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is good only for the next two years, even if the Supreme Court upholds the law.

Administration officials say that, at least for a while, it will bring Medicaid payment rates in each state up to what Medicare pays.

Medicaid usually pays much less and many doctors don't accept Medicaid patients.

Medicaid covers about 63 million people, including one-fourth of all children. Doctors also will get higher payments for vaccinating kids.

If Obama's law is upheld, expect a lobbying campaign to make the two-year raise permanent.