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House backs Collins’ bill for online Medicaid physicians’ directory

WASHINGTON – The House this week approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, and Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, that aims to make it easier for Medicaid beneficiaries to find doctors.

Under the bill, states will be required to include an online directory of physicians who serve Medicaid clients if those states operate a fee-for service or primary care case management program, as many states do.

“Ensuring Medicaid beneficiaries can quickly and easily find out what doctors they can visit is a common sense and simple fix,” said Collins, who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee. “This legislation will increase health care access and efficiency for the most vulnerable, while reducing emergency room care.”

Collins’ legislation was included in a larger bill that aims to make sure that medical providers who are terminated by Medicaid and the nation’s children’s health program are not allowed to serve patients under those programs. That measure passed unanimously late Wednesday.