Oregon cuts Medicaid physician pay by average of 11.5%

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 18, 2011

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Oregon lawmakers and Gov. John Kitzhaber, MD, approved a fiscal 2012 budget in late June that on average reduces physician Medicaid pay by 11.5% effective Aug. 1.

The size of the cut varies by physician specialty. The state's Medicaid agency will not reduce fees for primary care services, including ob-gyn care, said Oregon Medical Assn. spokeswoman Betsy Boyd-Flynn. The Oregon Health Authority is attempting to bring all physician pay as close as possible to 72% of Medicare rates. This calculation means anesthesiologists, for instance, are facing a 39% Medicaid pay cut that Boyd-Flynn said is "really, really difficult to sustain."

Dr. Kitzhaber had supported Medicaid pay cuts of up to 19%, but the steeper reductions were not necessary because the Legislature agreed to increase a hospital tax in an effort to secure more federal matching dollars. The medical association was still seeking more details on the cuts at this article's deadline.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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