KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

States Juggling Medicaid Requirements, Costs, Coverage

In Arizona, Oregon, Florida and elsewhere, states are examining who is covered by Medicaid, how they're covered and what it costs.

Health News Florida: Medicaid 'Reform' Plans Get Rate Hike
Medicaid managed-care plans in Florida's five Medicaid "reform" counties have been granted a 10.8 percent rate increase because of ever-increasing hospital costs, the president of Florida Association of Health Plans confirmed today. Meanwhile, said Michael Garner, the managed-care plans in most counties of the state were granted an average 1.3 percent rate increase (Gentry, 10/17).

The Associated Press/Miami Herald: Fla. Economists Predict Modest Medicaid Growth
State economists said growth in Florida's once-exploding Medicaid program is slowing and predicted Medicaid spending will increase by a relatively modest $1.3 billion, or 6.3 percent, next fiscal year. ... The state, though, would be affected by the spending increase more than the federal government. That's due mainly to the expiration of temporary federal assistance of nearly $550 million (Kaczor and Kennedy, 10/17).

Stateline: Medicaid Expansion Seen Covering Nearly All State Prisoners
Starting in 2014, virtually all state prison inmates could be eligible for Medicaid coverage of hospital stays — at the expense of the federal government. In most states, Medicaid is not an option for prison inmates. But a little known federal rule allows coverage for Medicaid-eligible inmates who leave a prison and check into a private or community hospital (Vestal, 10/18).

Related, earlier KHN story: Ex-Cons Part Of California Health Care Expansion To Childless Adults (Varney, 9/13).

Arizona Republic: Sharp Drop In Adults Covered By Arizona Health Care
More than 14,000 low-income childless adults in Arizona lost state-provided health coverage last month, the biggest drop since the state froze enrollment in the health coverage program in July. Enrollment has dropped from 217,718 to 192,011 since the state stopped accepting new applicants and began blocking re-enrollment from people in the program who fail to renew coverage. Community health advocates said the number, while considerable, is less than they had originally feared (Levy, 10/17).

The Lund Report: Hospitals See Their Medicaid Rates Cut by 15 Percent
Oregon's largest hospitals aren't pleased with a decision by Governor Kitzhaber that reduced their Medicaid payments by 15 percent on October 1. "Hospitals were extremely disappointed in this post-session budget decision that was made outside of the legislative process," said Andy Van Pelt, director of communications at the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems. ... Because of the lagging economy, the decision to lower hospital rates was unavoidable, said Dr. Bruce Goldberg, director of the Oregon Health Authority (Lund-Muzikant, 10/17).

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