Medicaid: Bachmann Calls For Scrutiny Of Minn. System, Other State Developments
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has called for a broader investigation of Minnesota's Medicaid system after allegations that the state inflated premiums for low-income residents. Elsewhere, Maine's Medicaid system costs more than in other states, and the Florida Hospital Association is pushing back against forced contracting with Medicaid managed care providers.
(St. Paul) Pioneer Press: Bachmann Wants Medicaid Rates To Get Closer Scrutiny
Following word last week of a federal investigation into how Minnesota finances its public health insurance programs, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann said Monday that more audits might be needed for the Medicaid program. The Minnesota Republican held a news conference Monday at the Capitol to say she plans to introduce federal legislation related to questions raised last week about the state's version of Medicaid, a health insurance program for low-income and disabled residents that is jointly funded by the federal government. Last Tuesday, the commissioner of the state's Department of Human Services told a legislative committee that the federal government is investigating whether Minnesota has wrongly received excess federal funds by manipulating the rate certification process for Medicaid (Snowbeck, 2/20).
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Bachmann, In St. Paul, Urges Medicaid Audit
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann put in a rare appearance at the State Capitol Monday to join the growing bipartisan chorus calling for closer scrutiny of the state's Medicaid accounting. Minnesota is under federal investigation for allegedly inflating health care premiums for low-income recipients of the federal health-insurance program. State legislators from both parties are calling for independent third-party auditors to review Medicaid's recordkeeping. Bachmann said she plans to introduce similar legislation at the federal level. "It's not a partisan issue," said Bachmann. "We, as lawmakers, have an obligation to ensure that Minnesota's payment and oversight practices are both accountable and transparent" (Brooks, 2/20).
The Associated Press/Houston Chronicle: Maine Medicaid Costs Above Average
In his relentless demands for steep Medicaid cuts, Gov. Paul LePage has said Maine spends far more per capita than other states on Medicaid and is high above the national average. Whether you support or oppose LePage's cost-cutting proposals, he's right. Maine had the nation's fifth-highest Medicaid coverage rate in fiscal year 2009, 27.8 percent, behind California, New Mexico, Louisiana and Vermont, according to the latest statistics for Maine from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The national rate for the same period was 21 percent (Canfield, 2/20).
Modern Healthcare: Fla. Association Opposes Measure Requiring Managed-Care Medicaid Contracts
The Florida Hospital Association is pushing back against a proposed state law that would force hospitals to contract with Medicaid managed-care programs at a time when legislators have approved changes to state law that are expected to move more of Florida's 3.1 million beneficiaries into the programs. The state hospital association said data from 196 Florida hospitals show that the providers have struck a total of 1,333 contracts with Medicaid managed-care companies. Hospital officials say the data prove that state officials don't need a law to mandate that hospitals strike contracts with the insurance administrators (Carlson, 2/18).