KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medicaid News: Wis. To Lift Cap On Long-Term Care

News outlets also report on Medicaid developments in New York, Ohio and Colorado.

Houston Chronicle: Planned Medicaid Cuts To Impact Poor, Elderly Patients
It may soon become harder for the neediest Texans to receive medical treatment. That's because statewide regulations scheduled to go into effect Sunday would limit reimbursements paid to medical providers for patients covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. The change would impact approximately 333,000 patients, mostly elderly, low-income residents, but also younger patients who are disabled. Slashing the Medicaid co-pay was part of the plan approved by state lawmakers earlier this year to help balance the state’s budget (Hundley, 12/30).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Walker Plans To Lift Cap On Long-Term Care
Gov. Scott Walker announced a plan Wednesday to lift the enrollment cap on a state long-term care program - a move he made two weeks after federal authorities told his administration it had to take that step. Walker touted the $80 million plan with advocates for the elderly and disabled at a Capitol news conference, but he made no mention of a recent order from the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, or CMS, directing his administration to lift the cap in the Family Care program (Marley and Boulton, 12/29).

The New York Times: Nowhere To Go, Patients Linger In Hospitals, At A High Cost
Hundreds of patients have been languishing for months or even years in New York City hospitals, despite being well enough to be sent home or to nursing centers for less-expensive care, because they are illegal immigrants or lack sufficient insurance or appropriate housing (Roberts, 1/2).

Reuters: Ohio Medicaid Cancer Patients Survive Less Time
Cancer patients on Medicaid survive less time after their diagnosis than people with private or no insurance, data from Ohio show. Looking only at highly treatable types of tumors, researchers found Medicaid enrollees were between 1.6 and 2.4 times as likely as other patients to die of their disease within five years. It's unclear exactly how to interpret those findings, but researchers agree they're important (Joelving, 12/30).

Denver Post: Colorado Republicans Want Asset Test For Medicaid
As Colorado lawmakers prepare for hard budget choices in the 2012 session, House Republicans are urging the state to reinstate an asset test for Medicaid recipients. Their argument comes despite the fact that the new federal health care law bars states from adding asset tests and despite prior experience in Colorado and elsewhere that such tests aren't worth the time or money (Hoover, 1/1).

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