On January 30, Governor John Kasich introduced his executive budget proposal for the consideration of the Ohio General Assembly. This is the beginning of the state budgeting process that will run through Friday, June 30.
- Flat funds for the Family Practice Line Item (235519) at $3,166,185 per year.
- Maintains Medical coverage for 3 million poor and disabled Ohioans including the 700,000 childless adults added to the rolls under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, if the ACA is repealed, the budget contains no back up plan for federal funding of Medicaid expansion.
- Replaces the state tax on Medicaid managed care companies with a state tax on all health-insuring corporations; certainly a better option than a state tax on physicians and other health care professionals. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has told the state it won’t allow continued use of the state tax on Medicaid managed care companies.
- Cuts reimbursement payments to hospitals and nursing homes.
- To promote personal responsibility, proposes a monthly premium of about $20 to adults on Medicaid without dependent children and with incomes above the federal poverty rate (an estimated 150,000 would be subject to this fee).
- Boosts payments to primary care practices that do a good job of keeping people healthy through the state’s Comprehensive Primary Care program. The Kasich administration proposes $124 million to reward primary care physicians who participate in defined best practices and who meet quality and efficiency targets.
As Ohio Academy of Family Physicians’ Lobbyist David Paragas, JD, likes to say, this is the first inning of a nine-inning ballgame, so this is just the starting point in the budgeting process. Watch future editions of the Weekly Family Medicine Update for further developments.