Following the hard work of general assembly leaders to develop a FY2023 budget, Governor McKee officially signed the state’s new $13.6 billion budget into state law on June 27, making important investments to maintain Rhode Island’s economic momentum, while investing in key services and programs, from housing to health care.
Included in the budget, pediatric providers received an allocated increase through EOHHS, adding $2.5 million in general revenue and $3 million in federal funds to increase pediatric primary care rates from 33% to 100% of Medicare rates for fee-for-service (FFS) and from 65% to 100% for managed care. According to the Kaiser Foundation, prior to this increase, RI Medicaid had the lowest FFS pediatric rates relative to Medicare in the country, and notably, our neighbors’ FFS rates in MA and CT are currently about 75%. Rates above those neighboring states will help retain and attract more providers, and help to compensate for past underinvestment. Since more than half of children in RI (55%) are currently covered by Medicaid, it’s critical that providers are available for services such as developmental screening and vaccines, as well as referring children to services such as early intervention, behavioral health, and lead remediation services.
The stabilization of funding and rate increases for pediatric primary care providers is a huge leap forward for Rhode Island and our primary care community. Thank you to our House of Representatives, Senate, and Governor for making this possible.