KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Burwell Says Obama Administration Could Act Quickly On N.C. Request To Expand Medicaid

North Carolina's new governor could face a time crunch if he tries to get an expansion plan approved before President Donald Trump is inaugurated. Also, The New York Times examines an effort to build a database of Medicaid patients around the country.

McClatchy: Swift Federal Action Vowed On NC Governor’s Medicaid Expansion Plan
The Obama administration pledged Monday to act quickly on North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s plan to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans want to repeal. Outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell suggested Monday that North Carolina could see a quick answer on its request to expand Medicaid. She demurred on the dispute between Cooper and the Republican-controlled state Legislature over Medicaid, but said, “We will process the governor’s proposal as expeditiously as possible when we get it.” (Douglas and Clark, 1/9)

The New York Times: Medicaid’s Data Gets An Internet-Era Makeover
Jini Kim’s relationship with Medicaid is business and personal. Her San Francisco start-up, Nuna, while working with the federal government, has built a cloud-computing database of the nation’s 74 million Medicaid patients and their treatment. ... Andrew M. Slavitt, acting director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, described the cloud database as “near historic.” Largely because Medicaid information resides in so many state-level computing silos, Mr. Slavitt explained, “we’ve never had a systemwide view across the program.” (Lohr, 1/9)

And in news from Virginia and Montana —

Richmond Times Dispatch: Virginia Looking For Medicaid Savings, But Fearing Cuts From Repeal Of Health Law 
Virginia could lose more than $314 million from its general fund budget if the new Congress and president make good on their promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, according to estimates by the state’s Medicaid director... The projections primarily reflect losses in the state’s share of pharmacy rebates under the managed care program that Virginia is moving aggressively to reshape, as well as the loss of federal matching funds for the state’s child health insurance program and the reversal of reductions in indigent care. (Martz, 1/9)

Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune: State Panel Hears Report On Medicaid
Members of the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee on Monday heard a review of the state’s Medicaid program in which nearly 10 percent of Montanans are enrolled. ... A chart provided to the panel showed that in fiscal year 2015, 125,177 people were enrolled in Medicaid with 61 percent (76,515) of those being children. ... Mary Dalton, Medicaid and health services branch manager with the Department of Public Health and Human Services, said nearly $1 billion is spent in the state annually on Medicaid, a joint federal-state program. (Drake, 1/9)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.