Medicaid: Ark. Gov. Pushes Expansion, Maine Hunts For Savings
Arkansas's governor is trying to use the health law's Medicaid coverage expansion to prevent a GOP takeover of the state legislature, while Maine hunts for savings in its Medicaid program.
The Associated Press/Washington Post: In Arkansas, Governor Changes Course On Health Care To Help Uninsured, Struggling Democrats
President Barack Obama's health care overhaul has never been popular in Arkansas, a state where even most Democrats regard the law as politically toxic. But with a quarter of the state's working-age population uninsured, a governor who once said he would have voted against the law now wants to use it to widen government-funded coverage to thousands of additional families. And he's relying on the move to help prevent a Republican takeover of the state Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction (9/25).
The Associated Press: Maine Not Alone In Hunt For Medicaid Savings
Maine is not alone among the states that have reduced spending for Medicaid programs, a health care spending consultant on Tuesday told a panel that's looking to add to cuts that already have been imposed. Cuts elsewhere range from eyeglasses and eye exams to hearing aids, dental care, chiropractic services and mental health services, according to a summary prepared by Seema Verma of SVC Inc. for the MaineCare Redesign Task Force (9/25).
The Arizona Republic: Audit AHCCCS Fraud Inquiries Slow
A new state audit lauds Arizona's Medicaid program for its ability to prevent and ferret out fraud and abuse, but says the agency often takes too long to investigate cases, doesn't prioritize them effectively and should do a better job of collecting settlements. The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System's Office of Inspector General recovered $6.6 million in civil and criminal restitution settlements in fiscal 2012 from people who attempted to fraudulently obtain health-care benefits or from providers who billed Medicaid for unnecessary services or treatment they didn't provide, the audit showed (Reinhart, 9/25).