Medicaid News: Federal Officials Question Drop In Pa.’s Rolls
In Pennsylvania, the federal government is checking into why 130,000 people were removed from the Medicaid program.
Philadelphia Inquirer: Federal Agency Asking About The Sharp Drop In Pa.'s Medicaid Rolls
Pennsylvania has dropped tens of thousands of people from its Medicaid rolls since last summer -- and now the Obama administration wants to know if the state wrongly cut off those benefits. The federal agency that oversees how states administer Medicaid sent a letter last month to the Department of Public Welfare saying initial data showed 130,000 people, including 89,000 children, had been dropped from state Medicaid rolls between August and January. Those people were dropped, noted the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, when DPW was struggling with a backlog, leaving it unable to sort through all the information people had submitted in efforts to qualify for the benefit (Couloumbis, 7/12).
The Associated Press/Houston Chronicle: LePage Sharpens Medicaid Attack Against Pingree
[Maine] Gov. Paul LePage sharpened his attack on U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree over Medicaid cuts on Wednesday, suggesting Pingree is part of the "jet-setting Washington culture that keeps people dependent on government handouts." The Republican governor was angered when he learned Pingree, a Democrat, had urged Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to reject Medicaid cuts approved by the legislature that will eliminate coverage for more than 20,000 Mainers. LePage contends the cuts are legal because the Supreme Court decision that upheld President Barack Obama's federal health care overhaul limited congressional power to expand Medicaid (Sharp, 7/11).
Meanwhile, California outlets look at several aspects of Medicaid there.
Contra Costa Times/McClatchy Newspapers: Medi-Cal Compensation Inadequate, Doctors Say, As Enrollment Boom Looms
As California gears up for a major expansion of Medi-Cal under national health reform, such compensation is leading to a critical concern: Will enough physicians be willing to see the influx of new patients? Many doctors now refuse to accept Medi-Cal patients or sharply limit the number they see because of what they describe as extremely low reimbursement rates. As a result, patients report difficulty getting timely care, a problem the expansion could worsen (Kleffman, 7/11).
San Francisco Chronicle: Hospitals See Pros And Cons To Health Care Law
Hospital administrators in the state said they largely support the federal health care reform legislation upheld by the Supreme Court last month, but many are apprehensive about major pieces of the law, including the possible expansion of the state's Medicaid program. … Locally, hospital executives said they've been preparing for the onset of the reforms, mainly through administrative changes, such as moving to electronic medical records expected to streamline the health care process. But most added that there are significant unanswered questions about how health care reform will affect their business and the patients they serve (Cuda, 7/11).
California Healthline: Rural Clinics Hope DHCS Email Will Turn Tide In Medi-Cal Benefits Lawsuit
The Department of Health Care Services has been accused of withholding information in a court case -- information that has the potential to change the reimbursement status of rural health centers and federally qualified health centers in California, according to court documents filed Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit by the California Association of Rural Health Clinics. Officials from DHCS could not comment on the lawsuit, according to Norman Williams, deputy director of public affairs for DHCS (Gorn, 7/12).