KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

As Fiscal Years Start To Wind Down, States Confront Medicaid Issues

In Georgia, Kansas, Colorado, Connecticut and other states, Medicaid costs are daunting.

The Washington Post: States' Tax Revenue Rose 8.9 Percent In Last Fiscal Year
Although their tax revenue has improved substantially since the worst of the recession, states continue to face severe fiscal challenges as they are called on to spend more because of the economic stress caused largely by continued high unemployment. Many states face increasing caseloads for Medicaid, the combined federal-state health program for the poor and disabled (Fletcher, 4/12).

Georgia Health News: Medicaid, PeachCare Cope With Cash Problem
The cash-flow problem has prompted the Department of Community Health to ask medical providers and insurers to give the agency some flexibility on payments. The financial situation came up Thursday at a Department of Community Health board meeting. ... Including federal funds, the state Medicaid and PeachCare budgets total more than $7 billion annually. The state’s fiscal year ends June 30 (Miller, 4/13).

The Associated Press/Denver Post: Colo. House Approves $7.4 Billion Spending Plan
The Colorado House approved a $7.4 billion spending plan Thursday ... Overall, the bulk of the increases in general fund spending is going to K-12 education, the senior property tax, and federally mandated Medicaid spending (Moreno, 4/12).

The Connecticut Mirror: State Trying To Improve Care For High-Need, High-Cost Clients
[A] group of just over 57,500 people represents nearly 40 percent of the cost of Medicaid, the largest single item in the state budget. The group includes poor seniors and younger adults with disabilities who receive coverage through both Medicaid and Medicare. Their care costs more than $3 billion a year -- an average of $53,500 per person, or 55 percent higher than the national average (Levin Becker, 4/12).

Kansas Health Institute News: KanCare Reorganization Moves Forward
Had either the House or Senate rejected the order, the reshuffle would have been halted. ... [Brownback administration officials] said moving long-term care services from the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services would cement their efforts to better coordinate care for elderly and disabled Medicaid beneficiaries. Brownback has forecast at least $850 million in savings over five years for the state and federal governments thanks to KanCare (Shields, 4/12). 

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