‘Block Grant’ Has Become A Big Buzzword For Tennessee Politicians Discussing Medicaid. Here’s What It Entails.
A block grant at its most simplistic is when the state gets a set lump sum from the government. This gives the state more freedom on how to spend the money, but experts have long been wary about the concept. The Nashville Tennessean takes an in-depth look at what it could mean for the state. Medicaid news comes out of Louisiana, Kansas and Wyoming, as well.
Tennessee Wants A TennCare Block Grant. But ... What's A Block Grant?
If you follow Tennessee health care news in the slightest, you've probably heard some politician or bureaucrat talk about a "block grant." In response to a law passed earlier this year, Gov. Bill Lee's administration is currently preparing a proposal to overhaul TennCare by converting its federal funding into a block grant. If successful, Tennessee would likely be the first state to try this transformation. The block grant proposal is complex, nuanced and – at least for the moment –hypothetical. The administration has not yet released details about its proposal. No other state has done this and the details remain largely unknown. (Kelman, 8/25)
Louisiana Medicaid Expansion Enrollment Dips Again, Continuing Months-Long Slide
The number of people enrolled in Medicaid expansion in Louisiana dipped again in August by about 4,300 people, continuing a months-long slide in enrollment as the state sends out the latest batch of wage verification letters that are part of a stricter enrollment system. Since a peak of 505,503 enrollees in April, the number of people getting health care through the government-financed insurance program has fallen by nearly 55,200 people, or 11 percent, something the Louisiana Department of Health attributes to annual renewals and continued wage checks. (Karlin, 8/23)
Aetna Shakes Up Kansas Leadership After Chronic Complaints Put Its Medicaid Contract At Risk
Aetna is bringing in new leadership to run its Medicaid operations in Kansas after chronic complaints from hospitals and others put it at risk of losing its contract. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment confirmed Friday that Aetna Better Health of Kansas CEO Keith Wisdom is no longer in that role. But the insurer declined to answer questions about whether it had replaced Wisdom. (Llopis-Jepsen, 8/23)
Kaiser Health News:
Why Red Wyoming Seeks The Regulatory Approach To Air Ambulance Costs
Wyoming, the reddest of Republican states and a bastion of free enterprise, thinks it may have found a way to end crippling air ambulance bills that can top $100,000 per flight. The state’s unexpected solution? Undercut the free market by using Medicaid to treat air ambulances like a public utility. The issue has come to a head in Wyoming, where rugged terrain and long distances between hospitals forces reliance on these ambulance flights. Costs for such emergency transports have been soaring, with some patients facing massive unexpected bills as the free-flying air ambulance industry expands with cash from profit-seeking private-equity investors. (Hawryluk, 8/26)