Judge Halts Calif. Plan To Cut Medicaid Payments For Medical Transportation
In other Medicaid news, articles from Georgia, Kansas and Colorado examine concerns about the program's cost or planned changes.
California Healthline: Medical Transport Lawsuit Gets Federal Injunction
A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday to halt a 10% Medi-Cal provider reimbursement cut to medical transportation services. It was the third time the state has lost in court on this issue. State officials said the state will appeal (Gorn, 1/12).
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Deal Plans Spending Boost
Gov. Nathan Deal released a budget plan Wednesday that increases overall spending. ... House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, said she was equally pleased and concerned over the governor's budget proposal. ... She fears the cuts will come from services such as Medicaid. If doctors refuse to see Medicaid patients because of low reimbursement rates, she said, the sick could end up in emergency rooms "where costs are exponentially more expensive" (Diamond, 1/12).
Georgia Health News: Medicaid Debate: Does Managed Care Work
Next week, a highly anticipated report on the Georgia Medicaid program's future is scheduled to be released. The analysis, by the consulting firm Navigant, is expected to take a hard look at the way the state runs its managed care program. The program covers more than 1 million low-income Georgians, most of them children. The biggest question surrounding the handling of Medicaid in Georgia is whether the state should maintain its current HMO-like structure, tweak it – or change it completely (Miller, 1/11).
Kansas Health Institute: Governor Calls For Large Budget Reserve As Part Of A Packed Agenda
Gov. Sam Brownback said (in his state of the state message) little new about the Medicaid makeover plan he made public at a Nov. 8 news conference. He said his administration was "committed to a strong, effective safety net for our most vulnerable Kansans," but that "Medicaid spending continues to skyrocket and it continues to place stress on funding for education, public safety and other essential services." His Medicaid makeover plan, he said, would mean that every Medicaid recipient with a long-term disability would have "an integrated care coordinator" (Ranney and Shields, 1/11).
Kansas Health Institute: KDHE Chief Describes Medicaid Plan To Senate Committee
The state's top health official today fielded questions about the administration's Medicaid makeover plan from some openly skeptical members of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. ... "I'm too old to agree with you," said Sen. Roger Reitz, a Manhattan primary care physician, after hearing (Dr. Robert) Moser describe how the administration's plan would improve Medicaid patient outcomes, safeguard provider payments but ultimately cut costs by $853 million over five years. ... "I have to tell you I'm very skeptical," Reitz said, noting that Medicaid patients are among the most difficult people to treat. "Medicine doesn't work that way. I haven't seen it done in 50 years of practice" (Shields, 1/11).
Denver Post: Colorado House Launches 2012 Session With Tension Over Medicaid, Senior Tax Break
(House Speaker Frank) McNulty acknowledged there is "no magic wand" to cut the state's Medicaid program, but again repeated a Republican assertion that Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, could talk to President Obama about getting states some relief from mandatory spending programs. Republicans have generally called for a federal waiver to get out of Medicaid obligations without offering specifics as to what that waiver would do (Hoover, 1/11).