KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Ark. Details Plans For Medicaid Payment Reforms

In other Medicaid news from the states, Kansas must find a new funding source for its online enrollment system, and New York and Nebraska audit medicaid payments.

The Associated Press/Houston Chronicle: Ark. Gov. Zeroes In On 9 Areas For Medicaid Reform
Arkansas officials have identified nine areas that they want to focus on as they look at changing the way Medicaid pays for services, including neonatal care and developmental disabilities, Gov. Mike Beebe told federal health officials in a letter released Monday. The state in May was given initial approval to move forward with developing plans to switch from a fee-for-service model that Medicaid uses. The state instead hopes to pay partnerships of local providers for "episodes" of care rather than each individual treatment (8/22).

Kansas Health Institute News: Modernized Medicaid Enrollment System Up In The Air
The fate of a new Medicaid enrollment system in the works since 2009 is up in the air until state officials can decide how to replace funding for the project lost due to Gov. Sam Brownback’s recent decision to terminate a $31.5 million federal health reform grant. The Affordable Care Act grant was awarded to the Kansas Insurance Department earlier this year, ostensibly to help design and implement a state-based, online health insurance purchasing exchange required by the reform law. But approximately $30 million of it had been earmarked by state officials to help pay for the Medicaid Eligibility Determination, or K-MED, project (McLean, 8/22). 

The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: NY Recoups $2.3M Medicaid Overpayments
New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the state recouped $2.3 million from Medicaid overpayments after an audit found errors in the Health Department's eMedNY computer payment system. The system processes Medicaid claims from providers and generates payments. In the six months ending last Sept. 30, eMedNY processed 163 million claims worth $24 billion (8/23).

The Associated Press/Houston Chronicle: Neb. Medicaid Refunds $169,000 To Feds After Audit
Nebraska Medicaid has refunded nearly $169,000 to the federal government after an audit found improper billing for housecleaning, hospital care and personal services, a state spokeswoman said Monday. The state agency claimed an estimated $275,000 in "unallowable" Medicaid reimbursement for personal care services over a two-and-a-half year period, according to a report released last month by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General. … State officials said they are correcting the errors with new filing rules and a more user-friendly, automated billing system (Schulte, 8/22). 

Modern Healthcare/Crain's Detroit Business: Attorney General Schuette To Review Blue Cross Deal For Pennsylvania Medicaid Company
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said today that he will review Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's plan to acquire 40 percent of a Pennsylvania-based Medicaid company (8/22). 

Kansas Health Institute News: New Authorization System Will Speed Medicaid Prescriptions
Starting Tuesday, thousands of Medicaid recipients a year will have their requests for special prescriptions processed in seconds instead of days. The new, prior authorization system replaces paper files and faxes and is expected to save the state $1.5 million in its first year, said Kansas Medicaid Director Barb Langner (Cauthon, 8/22). 

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