KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medicaid Cost-Shifting Measures Move Forward In Fla., Wis.

States are searching for ways to contain their Medicaid costs.

The Miami Herald: Clock Ticking For Governor To Sign Controversial Medicaid Legislation
A controversial measure that would shift $300 million in disputed Medicaid bills to counties has been received by Gov. Rick Scott’s office ... If Scott does neither by the March 29 deadline, it becomes law automatically. Counties are lobbying the governor to veto HB 5301, arguing that it will put an undue burden on local governments for Medicaid bills they don't believe they owe. Under the plan outlined in the legislation, the state would withhold revenue sharing dollars to cover both the backlog and future Medicaid payments (Mitchell, 3/14).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Lawmakers Approve Medicaid Cuts
An estimated 22,800 people would leave or be turned away from the state's health programs for the poor, under a cost-cutting proposal revised by a legislative committee Wednesday. The Joint Finance Committee approved the revised Medicaid cuts on a 12-4 vote, with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against (Stein, 3/14).

Also in Wisconsin --

The Associated Press/(St. Paul) Pioneer Press: Budget Committee OKs Plan To Raise Medicaid Premiums
A plan to raise premiums for some of the poorest people enrolled in Wisconsin's Medicaid programs passed a Legislature budget committee Wednesday, but officials say it won't affect enrolled children, pregnant women, disabled people or the elderly. The Joint Committee on Finance voted along party lines to approve the plan proposed by the state Department of Health Services, which wants to lower the income level at which families must pay a premium. That would affect about 44,000 participants who previously didn't have to pay (3/14).

In other Medicaid-related news --

Stateline: Do 'Medical Home' Programs Save Money? 
The aim of the "medical home" concept is simple -- improve primary care so fewer people need to go to the hospital. ... But what about the short run? Can medical homes cut Medicaid costs? There, experts differ. A new study published in The American Journal of Managed Care reports that only one of hundreds of peer-reviewed studies of patient-centered medical homes definitively showed real cost savings -- and it did not involve a Medicaid program. This contradicts claims by medical home supporters that significant cost reduction have been achieved in the first few years of adopting the approach (Vestal, 3/15). 

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