North Carolina’s state treasurer would like to see his state become the second in the country to align healthcare reimbursements with Medicare rates. The proposal is already being slammed by hospital systems and the North Carolina Healthcare Association on the grounds that any savings realized by the health plan and its members will come at the expense of overall quality of care across the state. However, Dale Folwell claims the plan he’d like to implement could be more lucrative for independent critical access hospitals, mental health clinicians, and primary care physicians—ostensibly including urgent care providers. Currently, the average reimbursement for “professional services” provided by physicians is 126% of Medicare rates; under the proposed new plan, that would jump to 160%. Rates for inpatient and outpatient hospital services would drop from 158% to 155% and 201% to 200%, respectively. The plan already been endorsed by the State Health Plan’s board of trustees.
Hospitals Slam North Carolina Proposal, but Could it Benefit Urgent Care?