KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Ky. Medicaid Plan Approved; Calif. Dentists Decry Reduced Patient Benefits

In state Medicaid news, Kentucky gains federal approval for a managed care system, California dentists say cuts to programs there have hurt patients, a nursing homes prepares to close in New York City and questions are raised about the mental health managed care system in Kansas.

Louisville Courier-Journal: U.S. Approves Kentucky's Statewide Medicaid Plan
Kentucky has cleared a key hurdle in its plan to implement a statewide system of managed care for Medicaid members outside the Jefferson County region, state officials said Friday. The federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) has approved the plan by Kentucky to provide health care to about 560,000 people throughout the state under contracts with three, private managed care companies (9/9).

Los Angeles Times: Reduced State Dental Benefits Create Dire Situation For Patients
California cut coverage for 3 million Medi-Cal recipients two years ago. Since then, dentists say patients wait until infections become so severe they must visit emergency rooms or their rotted teeth must be pulled (Gorman, 9/12).

The New York Times: Closing A Nursing Home, And A Chapter Of New York History
The Bialystoker home, plagued by deep debt and what it regards as inadequate Medicaid reimbursements, is closing. It was opened in 1929 as a nursing home and communal center by Jewish immigrants from Bialystok. … In authorizing the closing, the state's Department of Health has ordered the home, which is scheduled to shut in late October, to find new beds for all 95 residents. Meanwhile, its 10-story building at 228 East Broadway is on the market for an asking price of more than $10 million (Berger, 9/11).

The Connecticut Mirror: SustiNet Cabinet Starts Work Monday
SustiNet was originally proposed as a state-run health plan that would include state employees and Medicaid recipients and would be available to small businesses, nonprofits, municipalities and, eventually, anyone in the state. That plan did not pass, but a compromise that became law this year created the (SustiNet Health Care Cabinet) to make health care policy recommendations, including developing a business plan for alternatives to private insurance (Levin Becker, 9/9).

Kansas Health Institute News: Turmoil Besets Kansas Mental Health Community
Questions surrounding alleged financial irregularities at Kansas Health Solutions, the state's mental health managed care company, have mental health advocates dismayed about the future of the state's mental health system, particularly as Gov. Sam Brownback's administration is poised to announce its plan for a major makeover of the Kansas Medicaid program (Shields, 9/9).

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