KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

HHS Reviewing Florida’s Plans For Medicaid

Officials from Florida and the federal government are working on the state's plans to move all Medicaid enrollees to managed care plans. Meanwhile, Iowa is planning changes to its Medicaid program that could impact the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. And a Medicaid provider in Georgia finds anomalies in payments.

St. Petersburg Times: Florida's Medicaid Program Care System
As Washington grapples with debt ceilings and spending, another set of fiscal negotiations quietly begins this week that will impact Floridians for years. The Legislature voted in May to turn the state's entire Medicaid program over to private managed care. But because the federal government shoulders most of the bills, the Obama administration must give its assent. At stake are billions of tax dollars and the health of more than 3 million poor and elderly Floridians. The debate around the issue already is dividing along philosophical and political lines (Nohlgren, 8/1).

News Service of Florida: State Asking For More Time On Medicaid Pilot Program
Florida is asking federal officials for another two weeks to reach agreement on continuing the state's Medicaid managed-care pilot. The controversial pilot, which requires most Medicaid beneficiaries in five counties to enroll in managed-care plans, was scheduled to expire Sunday (8/1). 

Des Moines Register: IowaCare Expansion May Take Some Load Off U of I Hospitals
Rapid growth in IowaCare, the state Medicaid insurance program, has contributed to the growing patient base at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, but it's unclear how the hospital will be affected by impending IowaCare changes, hospital administrators say. The hospital system has been the primary care provider for IowaCare patients since the program began six years ago and has been responsible for caring for as many as 35,000 of the 50,000 Iowans enrolled in the program. Of about 1.1 million patient encounters at the center, excluding pediatrics, psychiatry and UI Community Medical Services, from July 2010 to March 2011, 12 percent were with IowaCare patients (Schettler, 7/31).

MarketWatch: Georgia Medicaid Move Hits Insurers Hard
In reporting its second-quarter earnings, Amerigroup said it told state officials it found "anomalies" in its membership records in Georgia, prompting the state to investigate the matter. The state discovered it had made duplicate payments for patients with more than one Medicaid case number, and called for Amerigroup to return those payments. Amerigroup said the return of those payments reduced second-quarter earnings by 16 cents a share. But the damage to shares was heavy, as shares were down more than 21% at one point. Shares ended the day down 18.4% to $55 (Britt, 7/29). 

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