Iowa To Add $33M To Payments To Medicaid Managed Care Firms
The increase will cover higher prescription drug costs, Gov. Terry Branstad reported, but the state will still save money on the program. In other Medicaid news, Rhode Island says enrollment there is growing and Tennessee doctors sue federal officials over a payment issue.
Iowa Public Radio:
Iowa Paying An Additional $33 Million For Medicaid Management
The State of Iowa is increasing the amount of money it pays to the three private companies managing Iowa’s Medicaid system by $33.2 million. Gov. Terry Branstad says the increase is largely due to pharmaceutical costs, which are higher than anticipated since April when the state privatized its Medicaid system. ... Despite the additional payments, the governor insists Iowa will still reap the $110 million in savings projected by state actuaries. Branstad says that’s because the money Iowa is saving by privatizing Medicaid is also higher than expected, so the state can afford to increase contract rates to the Managed Care Organizations. (Boden, 10/31)
Des Moines Register:
Branstad Pumps $33 Million More Into Medicaid Privatization
Senate Democrats, who strongly opposed the shift of government-managed Medicaid health care to a privately managed program, were sharply critical of the Republican governor. Medicaid is one of the state's most expensive government programs, serving about 560,000 low-income and disabled people at an annual cost of more than $4 billion. “Many correctly predicted Governor Branstad’s hasty handover of the state’s Medicaid health care system to for-profit, out-of-state companies would not be in the best interests of Iowans,” state Sen. Amanda Ragan, D-Mason City, co-chair of the the Iowa Legislature's health care policy oversight committee, said in a statement. “So far, Medicaid privatization has been a nightmare for hundreds of thousands of elderly and disabled Iowans and their families, as well as for thousands of local health care providers." (Petroski and Leys, 10/31)
Medicaid Enrollment Surging In R.I.
Public spending on medical benefits in Rhode Island is on track to run $72 million higher than budget writers predicted earlier this year as Ocean State Medicaid enrollment continues to surge, according to projections released Monday by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. The majority of the spending is covered by the federal government, with the state's share now estimated to come in at $9.5 million more than the budget approved by lawmakers in June, according to figures presented to the twice-annual state Revenue and Caseload Estimating Conference. (Anderson, 10/31)
Primary Care Doctors Sue CMS Over Medicaid Recoupments
A group of physicians from around the state is suing federal health officials over a regulation that requires the doctors to repay some Medicaid reimbursements. Twenty-one primary care doctors are challenging how the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services interprets a federal law, the Medicaid Enhanced Payment Statute, in a lawsuit filed today in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Tennessee. (Fletcher, 10/31)