Medicaid reform tops the agenda of many this legislative session. Governor Blunt is weighing 14 recommendations made by the Departments of Social Services, Health and Mental Health. Interim State Medical Services Director Steve Renne says they boil down to three goals: promoting wellness, covering more uninsured Missourians and getting more doctors to participate by raising rates. He says paying physicians more is a key component. Many Missouri doctors refuse to see Medicaid patients, because of the low rates paid by the state. Renne says the Missouri Medicaid rate is 40% of the rate the federal government pays in its Medicare program. Renne recommends paying doctors the federal Medicare rate. But that has a $100 million price tag and will have to be implemented over a number of years. Expanding health care coverage by helping small business cover employees would cost an extra $20 million. The plan calls for a premium offset to cover employees below 200% of the federal poverty level. It would use state and federal funds to leverage employer and employee contributions. Renne expects savings from helping Medicaid recipients take better care of their health. State officials fault Medicaid for its lack of emphasis on wellness. Governor Blunt will unveil his plan during the State of the State address Wednesday, January 24th.
Related web sites:
Medicaid Reform Recommendations