KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

State Budget Cuts Continue To Erode Medicaid Programs, New And Old Models Gain Traction

News outlets report on health stories, especially budget cuts, around the country. In Minnesota, however, three quiet, low-cost health providers have received grants to test whether their programs could become new models for others to emulate, while a panel in Louisiana has advised that the state resort to its old one.

WMUR (New Hampshire): The state's main mental health providers are facing major cuts. Medicaid payments make up between 65 and 85 percent of revenue for the largest providers, but those payments are going to be reduced, even as demands continue to rise. The providers say they expect losses of about 8 percent from the cuts (9/29).

The Detroit Free Press: Michigan plans to take $165 million from its Medicaid budget Thursday, cutting payments to doctors and hospitals by 4 percent for the second time this year. An additional $40 million will be cut from state payments for mental health services, a 12 percent reduction (Christoff, 9/29).

The Salt Lake Tribune: "In Utah, school nurses are stretched thin, and some worry they might be stretched even thinner as lawmakers prepare to deal with the state's still troubled finances." The state has already cut about 10 percent of its school nursing budget for this school year, and more cuts may be imminent (Schencker, 9/30). "Far from the high drama of the national health-care reform debate, three Minnesota nonprofit organizations in Alexandria, Duluth and St. Paul are quietly taking care of the uninsured in novel partnerships with providers, employers, consumers, counties, the state and even school systems." The systems offer low cost services to residents with lower incomes. The models are now receiving grants to test and potentially expand their approaches (Selix, 9/29).

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