Some States Limit Medicaid Hospital Coverage
States, facing budget shortfalls, look for ways to save money on their Medicaid programs, including limiting hospital stays for enrollees. Wisconsin is holding hearings on plans to alter the programs there, and California is looking at restructuring the way health care is delivered to people who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. Meanwhile, Stateline reports that a number of states are using new technology to run their benefits programs.
Kaiser Health News: States Are Limiting Medicaid Hospital Coverage In Search For Savings
In the latest sign of how desperate they are to control rising Medicaid costs, a small but growing number of states are sharply limiting hospital coverage — to as few as 10 days a year (Galewitz, 10/24).
Stateline: States Retool Food Stamp, Benefits Systems
(S)purred on by the recession and a record number of Americans getting food stamps and other public assistance ... (s)tates are trying to make it easier for those seeking help and cheaper for state workers who process the applications and provide the benefits. ... More than 30 offer an online application for Medicaid and/or CHIP that can be submitted electronically, and 18 states allow recipients to renew their coverage online, according to a report from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured that looks at all 50 states' efforts on this front (Prah, 10/21).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: State Hears Comments On Plans To Trim Medicaid Budget
Concern, frustration and, at times, anger characterized the overall mood at a town-hall meeting Friday on the state's plan to trim an estimated $554 million over two years from the BadgerCare Plus and Medicaid budget. The Department of Health Services this month released dozens of proposed changes in the programs that provide health coverage to about one in five people in Wisconsin, ranging from children in low-income families to adults with severe disabilities to people living in nursing homes. The changes are designed to close the state's budget shortfall while maintaining coverage for people, said Dennis Smith, secretary of the Department of Health Services (Boulton, 10/21).
California Healthline: State Laying Foundation for Duals Conversion
The state's Department of Health Care Services released a series of draft papers this week, outlining some of the concerns and aims of its planned conversion program, which will eventually offer managed care choices to dual eligibles -- those Californians who are eligible to receive both Medi-Cal and Medicare benefits. The latest paper ... looks at the possible scope of that transition and finds it could include many more than the 150,000 people originally estimated for the conversion program (Gorn, 10/21).