Tennessee’s Medicaid Deputy Finance Commissioner Calls for Additional $72 Million in Funding
Because of an anticipated rise in health care costs, TennCare, Tennessee's Medicaid managed care program, will need up to an additional $72 million to fund the program's managed care organizations, the Knoxsville News-Sentinel reports. Under the $3.3 billion TennCare program, the state pays a network of MCOs a monthly rate per TennCare enrollee. On Oct. 26, TennCare's Deputy Finance Commissioner John Tighe gave the state Legislature's Fiscal Review Committee the cost estimates, based on an anticipated 7%-9% rise in health care costs. The anticipated additional expenses exclude costs for pharmacy, mental health, long term care and other medical services the Knoxville News-Sentinel reports. Tighe said that TennCare's financial challenges are "no different" than those "all insurance companies" currently face and are caused in large part by the increased costs of prescription medications, technology and inflation. However, Tighe acknowledged that although TennCare has successfully managed costs, it is "not managing care as well as [it] could" (Ferrar, Knoxville News-Sentinel, 10/27).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.