Thursday, October 20, 2005

Florida, South Carolina Medicaid changes

It looks like officials in Florida and South Carolina have been visiting BizzyBlog's site and following-up on the recommendations he made for New York's and Ohio's Medicaid programs:

New York, Ohio, and other high-cost Medicaid states would actually be better off if they entirely funded health-care allowances for all Medicaid recipients and told them “Here. This is yours to spend ONLY on medical care. If you go over the allowance, we’ll cover you. But we’ll split the savings with you every year that you stay under.” Access to the money would only be permitted by approved medical providers, and the accounts could be easily monitored by state and federal auditors. Overall, I would characterize it as the voucher concept with a cost-saving twist.
Changes recommended for South Carolina's Medicaid system include:

In June, the state of South Carolina requested permission from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to restructure the state's Medicaid program from an open-ended entitlement into a defined contribution system similar to health plans in the private market. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) planned and submitted the proposal (excerpted in "South Carolina Medicaid Choice" on pages 10-11 of this issue of Health Care News), and the governor's office expects a response in the coming months, most likely in 2006.

To pay health insurance premiums or purchase care directly, most of the state's 850,000 Medicaid recipients would have access to a personal health account similar to the new Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) that became available to workers with private health coverage in 2004.
And for Florida:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today approved an innovative Medicaid reform plan that will allow Florida beneficiaries to choose health care plans that best suit their needs, for the first time introducing competition and consumer choice to this government-funded health care program.

"Introducing competition and consumer choice will improve quality of care and empower Florida's 2.2 million Medicaid beneficiaries," Secretary Leavitt said. "I commend Governor Bush for his leadership in transforming his state's program."

Enrollees will play a more active role in deciding how they will receive health care by selecting from a group of state-approved managed care plans that will compete for their business. Beneficiaries will have up to 30 days to choose a health plan. If no plan is chosen, the beneficiary will be automatically enrolled in a plan selected by the state.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw, shucks, all in a day's blogging. :->

October 20, 2005 at 9:59 AM  

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