KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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N.C. On Track To Implement Medicaid Changes By 2016 Deadlines, Officials Say

The state is replacing traditional Medicaid fee-for-service reimbursements with "prepaid health plans" in which the state contracts with private managed-care companies or local health care networks.

North Carolina Health News: Health Officials Scramble To Meet Legislative Deadlines
After years of computer glitches, poor data and budgets running in the red, North Carolina’s Medicaid program appears to be well in the black for this year, while computer systems seem to be providing timely data for officials to make projections and decisions. Just in time for everything to change. Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services updated lawmakers Tuesday on the state of Medicaid, the program that provides health care for about 1.8 million low-income children and their parents, pregnant women and people with disabilities. (Hoban, 1/13)

The Associated Press: Medicaid Overhaul Chief Says Work On Track To Meet Deadlines
With North Carolina's path to overhauling Medicaid finalized last fall, the race is on for state health officials to meet a tight schedule so a new managed-care system can take effect by 2018 or 2019. The head of the new Division of Health Benefits, which is tasked with carrying out the overhaul, told a legislative oversight committee Tuesday that her office is on track to meet deadlines in March and June. (Robertson, 1/12)

WRAL (Raleigh, N.C.): State Moves Ahead On Medicaid Changes For More Home Services
North Carolina's Medicaid chief told state lawmakers Tuesday his agency is ready to move ahead on waiver requests for better, more flexible services for traumatic brain injury patients and children with severe emotional disturbances. Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Dave Richard told the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services that the two 1915-c waivers, as they're known, would allow the state Medicaid program to expand home- and community-based services to both groups. (Leslie, 1/12)

And in Medicaid news from Iowa —

The Des Moines Register: Will Iowa's Poor Face Kansan Fate Of Medicaid Claims?
Two of the corporations Iowa has picked to manage its Medicaid program face new accusations of trying to pad their profits by systematically denying payments to medical providers serving poor and disabled people in Kansas. Similar allegations of denied payments and unjust delays hounded both companies for years in other states. The companies — UnitedHealthcare and Amerigroup — have each paid tens of thousands of dollars to settle similar problems in other states, a Des Moines Register Investigation has found. (Clayworth, 1/10)

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