States Grapple With Reduced Federal Medicaid Match
Stateline looks at the effect to states of the loss of extra federal matching funds for Medicaid. In addition, other news outlets explore the difficulty of finding physicians who accept Medicaid patients, a financial analysis of cuts in Medicaid funding being considered as part of the debt talks in Washington and the fight in Florida over moving enrollees to a managed care style plan.
Stateline: After The Stimulus, Big Shifts In Medicaid Funds
States have finally hit what they've been calling "the cliff." On July 1, all 50 states lost the additional Medicaid funds they'd been getting from the federal stimulus program. ... But the drop from the stimulus cliff was steeper for some states than others, according to a recent report by Federal Funds Information for States (Vestal, 7/18).
Honolulu Start-Advertiser: Locating A Doctor Who Takes Public Insurance Proves Difficult In Isles
Doctors say reimbursements are significantly lower than private health plans for the same services. For example, Medicare, which covers those over age 65, will pay $111.34 for a new patient office visit in Hawaii, or about 80 percent of what private insurance pays. Medicaid, insurance for those with low income, reimburses $68.82 for the same visit, according to the Centers for Medicare?& Medicaid Services and Hawaii State Med-Quest Division websites. Because of the lower reimbursements and cumbersome paperwork involved, it's tough to find doctors willing to accept Medicaid patients. "Medicare is bad enough. Medicaid is worse. I can sweet-talk a few of my friends here to maybe take one (patient), but it's difficult," said Michael Chan, a cardiologist (Consillio, 7/18).
Modern Healthcare: Analysts Closely Heeding Talk Of Changes To Federal Matching Rate For Medicaid
Healthcare analysts are paying close attention to discussions about the federal matching rate paid to states for Medicaid in Washington's debt-ceiling negotiations, according to a weekend report from Citigroup's Citi Investment Research. Writing about the managed-care segment, analyst Carl McDonald referred to this area (as) "one of the few potential negatives" in the talks to raise the federal debt ceiling by the Treasury Department's Aug. 2 deadline (Zigmond, 7/17).
Health News Florida: Dems Attack Medicaid Waiver
State House Democrats have asked the Obama administration to deny Florida's request to turn Medicaid over to managed-care companies. In order to move virtually all Medicaid patients into HMOs or similar networks, as this year's Legislature voted to do, Florida must have permission from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services because the program for the poor relies on billions of federal dollars. Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration must complete the waiver request and get it to HHS by Aug. 1 (Gentry, 7/15).