A representative of the Missouri Academy of Family Physicians sees plenty of problems with the Medicaid program, but doesn’t believe lack of money is one of them. Dr. Larry Halverson with the Cox Family Practice Residence Program of Springfield tells the Medicaid Reform Commission the program needs thorough review and reform. He insists Missouri spends plenty of money to meet the stated goal of Medicaid, but doesn’t spend it wisely. Halverson advocates a program that emphasizes preventive care. He says Medicaid recipients need to be kept out of the emergency room, which is much more expensive that a visit to the doctor’s office. Halverson criticizes how much Missouri Medicaid spends on drugs. He says the average state spends just under 17% on prescriptions, while Missouri spends more than 23% on pharmaceuticals. Halverson argues the state could save more than 350-Million dollars if it reduces drug spending to the average among states. The Medicaid Reform Commission has scheduled two days of hearings at the Capitol, beginning Tuesday.
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