KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

California Vows To Cut Medi-Cal Backlog To 350,000

Responding to federal pressure, state officials said they would slash the number of waiting applicants nearly in half over the next six weeks. Kansas, meanwhile, promised to fix its computers so they can communicate with the federal system.

Los Angeles Times: Obamacare: California Details Plan To Cut Medi-Cal Backlog To 350,000
California will reduce the number of Medi-Cal applications it has pending under Obamacare by nearly half within six weeks, state officials pledged Monday. In a letter to the federal government's Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the director of California's Department of Health Care Services, Toby Douglas, noted that the number of pending applications for the healthcare program for the poor had declined from 900,000 in March to 600,000 by the end of June -- and said that the state's continued efforts to push through the backlog would reduce the number to "approximately 350,000 within six weeks" (Brown, 7/15).

Kaiser Health News: California Releases Proposal For Clearing Medicaid Backlog
Responding to inquiries from federal officials, the California health department has released a plan it says will dramatically slash its backlog of Medi-Cal applications within six weeks. For months, the state has labored under the largest such pile-up in the country, with 900,000 pending cases reported in May—the combined result of unexpectedly high application numbers and bug-ridden computer systems (Shen, 7/16).

Kansas Health Institute News Service: Kansas Responds To CMS Enrollment Concerns
A spokesman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said he expects the agency’s computer system to be fully compatible with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services system by Aug. 15. KDHE Chief Information Officer Glen Yancey shared the prediction Monday in a letter sent to CMS headquarters in Baltimore. The letter was in response to CMS officials last month directing officials in six states, including Kansas, to submit plans for correcting delays in determining eligibility in their respective Medicaid programs, primarily for pregnant women, children, and people with disabilities (Ranney, 7/15).

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