KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medicaid Gamble In Ore. Could Make It National Leader, Or Cost Millions

A Medicaid experiment could make Oregon a leader in controlling costs and improving care in the program -- or it could cost the state millions in penalties. How states pay for Medicaid also makes news in North Carolina and Wisconsin.

The New York Times: Experiment in Oregon Gives Medicaid Very Local Roots
Under an agreement signed with the Obama administration last year, and just now taking shape, Oregon and the federal government have wagered $1.9 billion that -- through a hyper-local focus on Medicaid --the state can show both improved health outcomes for low-income Medicaid populations and a lower rate of spending growth than the rest of the nation. If Oregon fails on either front, the consequences are grave, potentially tens of millions of dollars in penalties a year (Johnson, 4/12).

Related, earlier KHN story: Oregon's $2 Billion Medicaid Bet (Foden-Vencil, 5/30/12)

North Carolina Health News: How 'Broken' Is NC Medicaid?
Since January, state officials have maintained that North Carolina Medicaid is 'broken.' Last month, Gov. Pat McCrory proposed an overhaul of the program, which provides health care for more than 1.8 million North Carolinians.  ... Some observers say that the problems with Medicaid have been trumped up and that McCrory’s assertions of the program’s problems were devised to provide him with the political cover not to expand Medicaid as allowed for under the Affordable Care Act (Hoban, 4/15).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin To Pay $6.3 Million More Annually For LogistiCare Replacement
State taxpayers will be shelling out an extra $6.3 million per year for medical transportation for Wisconsin Medicaid recipients once MTM Inc. takes over for LogistiCare, according to a Journal Sentinel analysis of bids. Just a few years ago, state officials estimated that having a private firm dispatch rides would save the state $4 million a year. The Journal Sentinel analysis raises questions about whether the privatization really saves state taxpayers money (Laasby, 4/14).

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