ATLANTA (AP) — Payments to doctors in Georgia who treat Medicaid patients are being cut as the state wrestles with the loss of hundreds of millions of federal stimulus dollars.
Gov. Nathan Deal had originally proposed a 1 percent cut to health care providers, excluding hospitals, to take effect on the July 1 start of the fiscal year. Lawmakers softened that to 0.5 percent. It's expected to save the state almost $14 million.
But in Georgia -- which is already experiencing a shortage of doctors -- it could drive even more physicians to stop accepting patients on Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor and disabled.
Medicaid is funded by a combination of state and federal dollars.
It's been a decade since Georgia physicians saw the Medicaid reimbursement rates rise.
(Copyright 2011, The Associated Press)