An interim House Committee hears from an expert that the state can save money on Medicaid, but probably not as much as lawmakers would like. Managed care is touted as a way to slow the growth of Medicaid, but not as a way to cut back that much on the growing Medicaid bill the state is paying. Missouri Care Health Plan CEO Donna Checkett served as State Medicaid Director from 1989 to 1996. Checkett says managed care can establish rates, better managed cases, control drug costs and help Medicaid recipients get better preventive care. Checkett says 430,000 Missouri Medicaid recipients, about 40-percent of those in the state program, are enrolled in managed care. Those not in managed care are senior citizens, institutionalized individuals and the disabled. She insists managed care doesn’t mean denying health care. In fact, Checkett points to state statistics that indicatebetter preventive care for Medicaid recipients and fewer trips to the Emergency Room. Checkett does caution that managed care won’t necessarily cut the state Medicaid budget. She does say it should help the state reign in its growth.
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