Haley to sign bill cutting Medicaid payments

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Doctors, hospitals and others caring for the state's poor, elderly and disabled will see payments cut under legislation South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is signing into law.

Haley planned to sign the legislation Wednesday afternoon that calls for a 3 percent across-the-board reduction in Medicaid payments.

Physicians have warned reimbursement reductions will make it less likely they'll see Medicaid patients.

The legislation ends years of practice that barred the state's Medicaid agency from reducing payments, and it comes as the Department of Health and Human Services runs a $225 million deficit.

The lower reimbursements will trim that deficit by more than $7 million and the state's financial oversight board has agreed to use state reserves and surpluses to cover up to $200 million of the shortfall.

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