E-Alerts & Press Releases

PJC’s Impact In Opposing Illegal Medicaid Fees Expands to West Virginia

By letter dated October 4, 2004, the Attorney General of West Virginia requested that the West Virginia Bureau for Medical Services revise its Medicaid Manual and take other actions to clarify that medical providers may not charge “fees for missed appointments” to Medicaid recipients. The Attorney General’s conclusion was based on research and policy advice provided by the Public Justice Center, Baltimore, Maryland and by the National Health Law Program, Washington, D.C. It noted that the states of Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Utah had all attempted to allow providers to charge fees for missed appointments, and that in each instance, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had advised the states that such charges were prohibited by Medicaid regulations. The PJC opposed charges for missed appointment for two reasons: (1) charging for missed appointments is contrary to federal law and (2) charging for missed appointments would be bad public policy because it will neither improve patient compliance nor increase doctor reimbursement, and because it could lead to increased barriers to access to care.

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