In Washington, Medicaid provides coverage for over one million eight hundred thousand people, including forty-six percent of Washington's children. Without Medicaid coverage, many people would be uninsured or lack coverage for services they need.
Historically, inadequate physician reimbursement rates have proven to be a barrier to access to care for Medicaid recipients. In Washington, Medicaid reimbursement rages for providers are sixty-six percent less than Medicare for the same primary care services.
SB 5319 makes the argument that primary care providers must receive sufficient reimbursement to participate in Medicaid.
SB 5319 proposes applying Medicare reimbursement rates to encourage greater provider participation by primary care physicians in Medicaid, thereby increasing access to primary care health services by Medicaid beneficiaries, particularly in underserved areas.