Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report Examines Medicaid Developments in Two States
The following highlights news coverage of developments related to the Florida and Louisiana Medicaid programs.
- Florida: Medicaid managed care plans in the state had slightly better quality of care measures in 2008 than they did in 2007 but still remain below national averages, Health News Florida reports. Health News Florida asked three independent experts to evaluate research by Health Services Advisory Group, which was contracted by the state. The group's research, which was based on the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, found that the managed care plans' care measures were in the lowest 25% in most categories, including care for pregnant women, infants and the mentally ill. In addition, there was no indication that the five counties operating "Medicaid Reform" pilot programs had any better performance than elsewhere. HSAG's written report is expected later this month. A written statement from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration says, "We believe these measures are a starting point that exposed flaws in the reporting process and the need for improved service to our beneficiaries" (Gentry, Health News Florida, 4/3).
- Louisiana: Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine has asked interim HHS Secretary Charles Johnson to readjust calculations used to determine federal contributions to the state's Medicaid program, saying the current method is skewed, the Baton Rouge Advocate reports. In a letter to Johnson, Levine said that the federal formula, which includes a three-year average of per capita income, has become "artificially skewed by the infusion" of hurricane recovery dollars into per capita income numbers. According to Levine, the formula means that the state would have to pay $700 million more each year for its Medicaid program, and its share of funding for Medicaid would rise from 28% to 36.9% by fiscal year 2011. The letter asks that Johnson consider keeping the state's matching rate as is "until the temporary impact of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike work their way through the three-year formula" (Baton Rouge Advocate, 4/7).