KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

States Look To Slow Spending, Raise Money And Extend Savings For Medicaid

The Charlotte Observer: "A plan to cut reimbursement rates to doctors who care for the poor and disabled has led to a tussle between Gov. Bev Perdue and North Carolina physicians. In the current state budget, Perdue and the legislature agreed that Medicaid reimbursement rates would be reduced by $26.6 million or 1.35 percent, if the state found it necessary to close a gap in federal Medicaid funding. Perdue's office says the cut is now necessary. The doctors say the state has access to plenty of federal money and could use a $300 million federal education windfall to avoid cutting the rates" (Niolet, 8/24).

South Florida Business Journal: "Instead of automatically renewing and extending Florida's Medicaid reform pilot program, as state officials had asked, federal officials will first review its effectiveness. Since July 2006, Medicaid recipients in five counties, including Broward, had to sign up for a managed care plan with a private or nonprofit group. While former Gov. Jeb Bush created the program to expand access to health care and cut costs for the state, some critics say it has not done either" (Bandell, 8/23).

Health News Florida: "The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Florida's failure to expand reform statewide as originally planned will affect how it reviews a state request to keep operating the program. In an important legal distinction, CMS will not treat the request as an 'extension,' as the state had hoped, said Phil Williams, a top Florida Medicaid official" (Saunders, 8/23).

Associated Press: "An attorney for Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland's office asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court Monday to strike down a new law designed to raise revenue for the state's Medicaid program. Attorney Michael Ridgeway told the high court state lawmakers did not follow constitutional guidelines when they passed the bill. ... The law sets a 1 percent fee on claims paid by private health insurers and companies with self-insured health care plans to support Medicaid" (Talley, 8/23).

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