KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

New Mexico Medicaid Overhaul OK’d

Other news outlets look at the delay in increasing pay rates for primary care doctors who participate in Medicaid and the limited access to medications for people addicted to painkillers enrolled in the health care program for the poor.

The Associated Press: New Mexico Medicaid Overhauls Wins Approval
Medicaid recipients will face co-pays for some treatments and have their medical services tracked as part of a program overhaul that is intended to lower the costs of providing health care, Gov. Susana Martinez's administration announced Monday. There will be no changes in determining who qualifies for Medicaid, which serves about a quarter of New Mexico's population (Massey, 7/15).

Stateline: Medicaid Coverage Limits Access To Medications For Painkiller Addicts
Many private insurance companies and state Medicaid agencies across the country impose sharp limitations on access to medications used in the treatment of the addiction to prescription painkillers known as opioids. A report commissioned by the American Society of Addiction Medicine found that Medicaid agencies in just 28 states cover all three of medications that the Food and Drug Administration has approved for opioid addiction treatment: methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone. The study also found that most state Medicaid agencies, even those that cover all three medications, place restrictions on getting them by requiring prior authorization and re-authorization, imposing lifetime limitations and tapering dosage strengths (Ollove, 7/16).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Few Medicaid Docs Have Seen 2013 Pay Raise;
Most primary care doctors are still waiting for that Medicaid pay raise that was scheduled to begin in January under the Affordable Care Act, but a federal official says the government has now approved applications from 48 states to begin paying the higher rates (Galewitz, 7/16).

Kansas Health Institute: DD Groups Largely Reconciled To KanCare Carve-In
After opposing the move for nearly two years, many providers of long-term services for the developmentally disabled say they now are largely resigned to the state's plan to fully include their system in KanCare. But that doesn't mean all the questions and worries about the proposed changes have gone away. Chief among them seems to be this: How will the whole thing work? (Shields, 7/15).

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