KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Alabama Officials Seek 23 Percent Increase In Medicaid Funding

The growing costs are the result of medical inflation, a transition to Medicaid managed care and refunds to the federal government for past overpayments. In Nevada, officials sought to reassure advocates that a plan to privatize Medicaid programs will be transparent and move slowly.

AL.com: Alabama Medicaid Asks For $157 Million Increase From General Fund
The Alabama Medicaid Agency, the largest consumer of dollars from the state's General Fund, requested a $157 million increase today at budget hearings at the Alabama State House. That would be a 23 percent increase from this year's General Fund appropriation of $685 million for Medicaid. Medical inflation, the cost of transition to a managed care system and refunding of past overpayments from the federal government are factors in the requested increase. (Cason, 1/13)

Montgomery Advertiser: Alabama Medicaid's $157 Million Request Stirs Debate
The two-hour meeting on the program’s needs boiled down to two questions: Can the state afford to give Medicaid what it needs? And can it afford not to? Medicaid makes up the single largest expenditure in the state’s troubled General Fund budget. Medicaid should receive $685 million from the budget this year. The federal government pays about 70 percent of the $6 billion program’s total costs, and the state’s hospitals, pharmacists and nursing homes all make significant contributions. (Lyman, 1/13)

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Officials Assure Advocates That Push To Privatize Medicaid Services Will Move Slowly, Be Transparent
Nevada officials on Wednesday assured advocates in Clark County that any process to privatize Medicaid services for the elderly, blind and disabled will move slowly and will be transparent. Advocates with Nevadans for the Common Good, a coalition of Las Vegas Valley institutions advocating for several issues including protection for vulnerable senior citizens, and members of AARP, a lobbying group for retirees, met privately with state officials. Attendees at the closed-door meeting included Richard Whitley, director of the state's Health and Human Services Department. Barbara Paulsen, leader with Nevadans for the Common Good, said the meeting was positive and that advocates were pleased with what they learned. She said the coalition's push for transparency and the Las Vegas Review-Journal's reporting to get the information on the potential switch out to the public may have had an "impact on the process." (Amaro, 1/13)

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