State Roundup: Minn. Seeks Its Own Indepedent Medicaid Audit
A selection of health policy stories from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri and California.
(St. Paul) Pioneer Press: Minnesota Medicaid Program: Independent Audit Sought; Federal Probes Under Way
The Minnesota Department of Human Services is commissioning an independent audit to respond to lingering questions about the state Medicaid program's past practices in paying private HMOs. The Medicaid rate-setting process also is the subject of several federal investigations. Questions have swirled at the state Capitol this year about whether Minnesota officials have been manipulating the rate certification process in Medicaid to wrongly gain excess federal funds (Snowbeck, 7/23).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Federal Government Renews State's Family Care Program
The federal government has renewed a joint program with Wisconsin providing long-term care for the elderly and disabled, but also found that Wisconsin violated the terms of the Family Care program last year.The decision by President Barack Obama's administration means that the Family Care program can continue to provide services to needy residents in the state that allow them to live outside a nursing home. But Gov. Scott Walker's administration will also have to reimburse anyone who was harmed by an enrollment cap placed on the program by the Republican governor and lawmakers last year and lifted by them this spring (Stein, 7/23).
St. Louis Beacon: Missouri's Newest Managed-Care Contractor Develops Partnership With Health Centers
Shannon Bagley has a passion for crunching numbers and for seeking good care for the medically needy. … She is combining her knowledge of health-care economics and medical services in her job as president and CEO of Home State Health Plan. A subsidiary of Centene Corp., Home State was one of three companies that won contracts to handle managed care for Mo HealthNet, the state's Medicaid program. The managed-care component serves about 410,000 people. … She says Home State's approach stands out partly because of its ground-breaking partnership with the Missouri Primary Care Association and a dozen MPCA member community health centers across Missouri (Joiner, 7/24).
The Associated Press: Calif. County To Vote On Medication Disposal Bill
A proposed ordinance that would put the pharmaceutical industry on the hook for not only making drugs, but also getting rid of them, is scheduled to be taken up by California's Alameda County on Tuesday. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors plans to vote on an ordinance that would require drug makers to pay for programs to dispose of expired and unused drugs. Government and industry officials said the ordinance would be the first of its kind nationwide (Nirappil, 7/24).