A series of hearings by state lawmakers into Missouri's Medicaid system has begun.
The interim House Committee on Medicaid Transformation spent much of the Thursday looking at proposed changes in Arkansas and Iowa, which would include expanding access to private health insurers and rewarding healthy behavior.
Sidney Watson is a law professor at St. Louis University who also advocates for improved access to Medicaid. She told the committee more about the waiver Iowa is seeking from the federal government.
Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 1:27 pm
A Missouri Senate interim committee looking into the state's Medicaid system heard from several doctors and other health care providers Wednesday at a hearing in Jefferson City.
Among those testifying was Thomas Hale, M.D., a St. Louis-based physician working with Sisters of Mercy. He told the panel that Medicaid needs to be expanded to make up for the pending loss of federal reimbursements to hospitals, known as DSH payments ("dish").
A two-year investigation by the U.S. Senate concludes that so-called dental management companies have provided substandard care to low-income children covered by Medicaid, while over billing the joint federal-state program.
Opponents to expanding Medicaid in Missouri worry about costs, but supporters say expansion is needed to help children, the disabled and elderly. The two sides sounded off on July 10 in Independence, Mo.
The state of Kansas has submitted its first quarterly update on KanCare to the federal government.
The federal waiver that gives Kansas the authority to experiment with its Medicaid program by privatizing the entire system requires a progress report four times a year.
The first report covers the period from January first through March 31st. It shows that a total of more than 344,000 Kansans enrolled in KanCare during the first three months. At the end of March, however, there were fewer than 324,000 still enrolled—a drop of more than 20,000 people.
Medicaid, the public health insurance program for low income and disabled residents, is no small chunk of change in Missouri. It comprises a huge portion of the state’s budget (more on that in Part 2). It also covers a lot of people: about one in ten residents.
Last year’s Supreme Court ruling left a key part of the federal health law up to states to decide: whether to expand Medicaid. About half of states have said they’ll go along with an expansion. The rest are undecided or opposed. Leaders in Missouri are still divided on what to do. Missouri’s Governor supports an expansion but he faced one of his toughest crowds yet, when meeting with Senate leadership this week.
The clock is ticking for the 380,000 Kansans whose health insurance comes through the Medicaid program now known as KanCare.
The KanCare program assigned each member to one of three private companies administering the benefits as of the first of the year. Members who prefer to switch to a different company have to do so no later than this Thursday.
At a recent educational meeting in Hays, KDHE policy and program analyst Effie Swanson said one reason to switch might be if your doctor is not signed up with your health plan’s network.
Hospitals in Kansas could lose some federal money if the state doesn't expand Medicaid services under the federal health care law. A lawmaker helping to draft the budget says the state needs to consider assisting those hospitals.
Many hospitals receive payments to help them cover the costs of medical care for the uninsured. They’re known as disproportionate share hospital payments. As the federal health care law continues, the focus will move to funding more Medicaid services, meaning the current disproportionate share funds could be reduced or completely eliminated.
A long-promised Republican alternative to Medicaid expansion was filed in the Missouri House Tuesday. It’s being touted as “market-based Medicaid."
Under the bill, private insurers would compete to provide coverage for Medicaid recipients, and those recipients could get cash incentives for taking care of their health and avoiding costly medical procedures.
The bill is sponsored by GOP House Member Jay Barnes of Jefferson City.
Medicaid expansion is dead for now in the Missouri House. Two separate House committees voted down efforts on Monday to expand Medicaid to 259-thousand Missourians next year and 41,000 more in later years.
There’s a fierce battle raging behind the walls of the Capitol building in Jefferson City; it’s over whether to expand Medicaid in Missouri. Governor Jay Nixon supports the expansion, and is pushing it as “fundamentally a business decision.” He’s gaining ground in some traditionally conservative areas, but the issue is mired in politics.
Kansas lawmakers are considering a resolution that would underscore the Legislature's opposition to a proposed expansion of Medicaid programs. House Speaker Ray Merrick, a Stilwell Republican, says he doesn't support making the state's health care program bigger.
From Left to Right: Independence Chamber of Commerce President Franklin “Kim” Kimbrough, Research Medical Center COO Matt Sogard, Independence Chamber of Commerce Chairman Stan Shurmantine, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Vice President Mark Dickey, Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee Co-Chair Ken Stremming
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is continuing his push to expand the state’s Medicaid program, an optional provision for states under the federal health law. The governor rallied some key allies near Kansas City Thursday afternoon but also pointed to some rather unlikely ones.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon pitched a nearly $26 billion budget to the state of Missouri during Monday’s State of the State Address. It includes spending increases for K-12 schools, higher education, and the proposed Medicaid expansion he’s been calling for since late November.
The Kansas City Free Health Clinic’s main location at 3515 Broadway will soon don a new sign out front: Kansas City CARE Clinic. The clinic adopted the name as it prepares for changes to its business model. CARE stands for Care, Access, Research and Education, which leaders say better reflects the clinic's role.
Armed with more than 100 staff members and 1,000 volunteers, the bustling Kansas City Free Health Clinic in midtown is one of the largest free health clinics in the country, treating upward of 15,000 patients a year. “KC Free,” as it’s commonly called, doesn’t charge fees or bill patients for care. It only sees people who are uninsured.
Medicaid is the second-largest program that Kansas operates, next only to education. And costs of the health program for the poor and disabled have been growing at a faster pace than most other programs. A desire to control those costs and improve care is why officials in Governor Sam Brownback’s administration have embarked on a massive plan to overhaul the system.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe speaks about expanding Medicaid during a speech to the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce in Little Rock, Ark., on Nov. 14. The federal government hasn't set a deadline for states to decide on their Medicaid expansion plans.