Some Low-Income Minn. Residents Must Change Health Plans
Also in Medicaid news, Washington state begins new program that limits emergency department visits for Medicaid enrolless. Oregon also reports gains in efforts to get children coverage.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: State Launches Website On Medicaid Savings
That's $15 million down and $430 million to go. State officials unveiled the website Monday to detail how they will achieve hundreds of millions of dollars in unspecified savings for state health programs for the poor but laid out few of their actual plans to do it. Gov. Scott Walker's administration has now been working on those plans privately for the better part of this year. The website will allow the public to give their input on the savings plans for Medicaid programs, which provide everything from medical care for poor children to nursing home care for the elderly (Stein, 9/26).
(Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) Pioneer Press: Twin Cities Poor Told To Switch State Health Plans
More than 70,000 Twin Cities residents enrolled in state health insurance programs will need to select a new health plan this fall. The changes stem from a new program at the Minnesota Department of Human Services designed to save money in the Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare health programs by putting managed care contracts out for competitive bids. This year, Gov. Mark Dayton called on his administration to implement competitive bidding for HMOs in the seven-county metro to test whether such a program can reduce overall costs (Snowbeck, 9/26).
Associated Press/The Seattle Times: Wash. To Limit Medicaid Emergency Room Visits
Washington state is preparing to limit Medicaid coverage of emergency room visits for non-emergency care, hoping to save millions of dollars each year. State officials have notified clients that they will get coverage for only three of those visits each year starting Saturday…. Supporters tout the cost savings, while critics argue the new restriction will force patients to try to diagnose themselves before getting needed medical help (9/26).
The Lund Report: Healthy Kids Program Draws Questions From Republican Legislators
The Healthy Kids program, which has cut the number of uninsured Oregon children in half since it began in 2009, drew numerous questions from Republican legislators during a legislative hearing last week ... One of (a recently released) audit's main focuses was an excess payment of $4.6 million from the federal government as a performance bonus. That bonus is given to states that exceed the federal government’s recommendation of how many children to insure each year (Waldroupe, 9/26).