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Reformed Medicaid Must Put Coordinated Care at Forefront of Efforts

  • Published: 2011-04-10 (Revised/Updated 2016-06-13) : Author: American College of Physicians
  • Synopsis: Medicaid and Health Care Reform highlights how primary care physicians will assume a major role in providing care to Medicaid beneficiaries.

Quote: "With this challenge comes the opportunity to reform Medicaid to ensure its future sustainability and solvency."

Main Document

A reformed Medicaid program must put coordinated primary care at the forefront of its efforts, the American College of Physicians (ACP) said in a new position paper released today at Internal Medicine 2011, ACP's annual scientific meeting.

Medicaid and Health Care Reform highlights how primary care physicians will assume a major role in providing care to Medicaid beneficiaries.

"The Medicaid program faces significant changes in the next few years as millions of current and newly eligible people will receive Medicaid coverage," said J. Fred Ralston Jr., MD, FACP, president of ACP. "With this challenge comes the opportunity to reform Medicaid to ensure its future sustainability and solvency."

ACP's paper contends that the program must do more to ensure that physicians can afford to provide care, that information can be shared across the health care infrastructure, and that administrative burdens are mitigated to allow physicians more time to care for patients. It emphasizes quality care over volume-based care and says the programs will need to provide beneficiaries with more options to meet their long-term care needs.

The 38-page paper provides brief updates on changes to the program over the last three to four years and makes a dozen recommendations on how the Medicaid program can be improved to ensure access and sustainability in the future:

"The Medicaid system provides vital health services to vulnerable populations, such as the poor and disabled," Dr. Ralston concluded. "But like the health care system as a whole, Medicaid needs to be improved to emphasize preventive and primary care. The need for the program is even more elevated as we've seen during the recent recession when more people have been forced to rely on the Medicaid system for coverage."

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