Medicaid Spending Claims Increasingly Larger Share Of State Budgets
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, Medicaid spending by the states has steadily gone up during the last three years, and this trend is likely to continue. Media outlets also report on Medicaid developments in Texas, Florida, New York and California.
The New York Times: Bigger Share Of State Cash For Medicaid
Medicaid has steadily eaten up a growing share of state budgets over the past three years, while education has been getting a smaller slice of the pie (Cooper, 12/13).
Reuters: State Medicaid Spending Soars
Spending by U.S. states on Medicaid, the health care program for the poor, soared last year and will likely continue growing despite measures to contain costs, according to a report released on Tuesday. Total Medicaid spending, excluding administrative costs, likely reached $398.6 billion in fiscal 2011, which ended in June for most states. That was up 10.1 percent from the year before, when spending rose 6 percent, the National Association of State Budget Officers reported (Lambert, 12/13).
Los Angeles Times: Audit Faults State Health Officials On Medi-Cal Oversight
State health officials have failed to adequately or promptly review the finances of publicly funded managed-care plans responsible for serving millions of Medi-Cal recipients, according to a report released Tuesday by California's state auditor (Gorman, 12/14).
Kaiser Health News: Administration Ties Medicaid Managed Care Expansion To Performance
The managed care industry's growing role in Medicaid got a boost Monday when the Obama administration approved Texas' plan to shift one million additional recipients into private health plans by 2013 (Galewitz,12/14).
The Texas Tribune: Was Federal Ruling A Win Or A Loss For Family Planning Providers?
The federal government's rejection this week of a state request to exclude certain providers — namely Planned Parenthood — from the Medicaid Women's Health Program came as a victory to some family planning advocates, and a travesty to others. Sandie Haverlah, an Austin lobbyist for Planned Parenthood, said it's a great outcome because it buys advocates time and forces the state to re-evaluate its stance on trying to force Planned Parenthood out of business. … But Fran Hagerty, chief executive of the Women's Health and Family Planning Association of Texas … fears the state will opt to end the Women's Health Program rather than allow Planned Parenthood to continue to be part of it, and that 130,000 low-income women may end up losing out on cancer screenings and birth control (Tan, 12/14).
Fox News: Perry Chides Administration For Turning Down Texas Family Planning Proposal
Texas Gov. Rick Perry accused the Obama administration of "holding women's health hostage" for the sake of a "pro-abortion agenda," after the federal government rejected the state's bid to block Planned Parenthood from a family planning program. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services turned down the state's effort to renew an initiative known as the Women's Health Program. The state program has for several years offered Medicaid assistance for low-income women to seek family planning services, but the Texas government drafted new restrictions aimed at squeezing out Planned Parenthood (12/13).
Stateline: Studies Point To Flaws In Florida's Medicaid Managed Care
Like many other states in fiscal duress, Florida sliced more than $1 billion off its Medicaid budget this fiscal year, primarily by cutting payments to hospitals, nursing homes and other health care providers. Next year, Governor Rick Scott wants to double the size of reductions to the federal-state program — again by cutting provider fees. … But two new reports suggest the federal government may need some answers before it approves Florida's plan. Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute – which has been studying Florida's Medicaid managed care experiment since it was launched — predicted the state's proposed $10 monthly premium for Medicaid recipients would result in 800,000 low-income parents and children dropping the coverage (Vestal, 12/14).
Albany Times-Union: Medicaid Panel Spells Out Reforms
The Medicaid Redesign Team's latest recommendations suggest refusing payment for medically unnecessary procedures like human growth hormone injections for short children and reining in the most expensive enrollees — the elderly and disabled with complex medical needs. The MRT, which was formed earlier this year by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reform Medicaid, adopted another round of major recommendations Tuesday during a meeting at Empire State Plaza. The recommendations will be sent to the governor on Dec. 31 (Crowley, 12/13).