August 23, 2014

Governor’s medicaid cuts detailed

Governor Nixon recommends a 120-million dollar funding cut for the Medicaid program. But the administration thinks the cuts will be mostly painless.

More than half of the cuts will come through better service reviews and in reductions in payments to providers, especially longterm care providers.

Some Medicaid clients are eligible for coverage under Medicare or through other insurance. The state promises to do a better job of charging those costs to other insurers.

State budget director Linda Luebbering says no services will be eliminated and no cuts will be made in eligibility. But better care management will be emphasized. “In some cases, clients will receive less service because they really need less service,” she says.

Luebbering says the state has improved its management in recent years but it hasn’t done a comprehensive review of the Medicaid system. Luebbering says there’s room for more improvement.

The state will hire a contractor to help the state set longterm care standards. She says a special drug review committee of psychiatrists and doctors will decide proper availability of mental health prescription drugs.

The legislature will decide how many of the governor’s cuts will stand in the final budget bills. Any cuts will go into effect July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

Listen to Bob Priddy’s story :62 mp3