Medicaid News: Advocates Decry Maine Plan To Cut Rolls
In wide-ranging news about state Medicaid programs, outlets look at the controversy in Maine, the lawsuit in Texas that could have ramifications across the country, a suit in Connecticut that charges the state doesn't have enough staff to process applicants, efforts to require prompt state payments to health care providers and Kansas' realignment of its Medicaid operations.
Bangor Daily News: New Study Disputes LePage Administration On MaineCare's Childless Adults
The childless adults Gov. Paul LePage has proposed dropping from MaineCare are far from young and healthy, despite rhetoric to the contrary, according to a report released Monday by an advocacy group for the poor. More than 40 percent of childless adults covered through MaineCare are older than 45 and many have serious medical conditions, states the report prepared by Maine Equal Justice Partners (Farwell, 1/9).
The Associated Press: Texas Suit Against J&J Over Drug To Go To Trial
Texas prosecutors want jurors to award the state $1 billion in a lawsuit that accuses Johnson & Johnson of overstating the safety of an anti-psychotic drug and influencing its use in the state's Medicaid program. The company, facing similar claims in other states, is promising to vigorously defend itself when both sides lay out their cases during opening statements Tuesday (1/10).
The Connecticut Mirror: Lawsuit: DSS Understaffing Produces Illegal Delays For Medicaid Applicants
The state Department of Social Services has failed to employ enough workers to process Medicaid applications in the timeframe required by federal law, leaving thousands of low-income residents without access to health care coverage, legal aid attorneys alleged in a federal class action lawsuit filed Monday. ... In a statement, DSS spokesman David Dearborn said it was common knowledge that the agency had dealt with "major, double-digit percentage staffing losses" in the past decade while monthly caseloads for Medicaid rose by 19.5 percent (Levin Becker, 1/9).
The Hartford Courant: State Sued Over Delays In Medical Care For Thousands Of Poor Patients
Charging that thousands of Medicaid applicants are being denied health care because caseworkers are over-burdened, a legal aid organization Monday filed a federal lawsuit against the state Department of Social Services. In the suit, the New Haven Legal Assistance Association says the state of Connecticut has routinely failed to process applications to the federal health insurance program for the poor within the federally mandated time period (Weir, 1/9).
California Healthline: Legislation Would Require On-Time Medicaid Payments
U.S. House members Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) and Brian Bilbray (R-San Diego) have proposed legislation called the Fair Pay to Medicaid Providers Act (HR 3587), which would require Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) to reimburse all providers in a timely manner. Currently, physicians do have that guarantee, but not other health care providers (Gorn, 1/10).
Kansas Health Institute News: Health Issues Facing The 2012 Legislature
Perhaps the most significant among [the health-related issues] will be Gov. Sam Brownback's proposed realignment of the state's Medicaid program, which includes reorganization of three major agencies. But there also will be a raft of other issues ranging from legislation to expand the work that can be done by dental technicians to efforts to boost spending on tobacco-use prevention and a possible move to limit medical malpractice awards should the state Supreme Court strike down the existing cap (Ranney and Shields, 1/9).