KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

States Focus On Medicaid Budget Challenges

News outlets covered states and Medicaid.

With Medicaid Waiver, California Dives Into Health Care Reform
Nearly missed in the noise from newly elected politicians vowing to upend the Obama administrations health care reform law was a federal decision allowing California to start implementing it and improve its fiscal situation in the process. On Election Day, California got word it would receive $10 billion in federal Medicaid money to extend coverage to some 500,000 people who are currently uninsured. ... The plan, which the state calls a bridge to reform, is also designed to bolster the states safety-net hospitals, as well as lower overall health care costs (Vestal, Stateline, 11/19).

Auditors Suggest Ways To Curb Medicaid Drug Costs
Legislative auditors today spelled out five possible ways to curb the state's Medicaid prescription drug costs by up to $4.6 million a year. ... Auditors said Kansas government spent $243 million in fiscal 2010 on prescription drugs, the vast majority of that through the health policy authority, which oversees the state Medicaid program and the State Employees Health Benefit Plan. Kansas Medicaid spent $166 million on prescription drugs in 2010, but the state was reimbursed for more than two-thirds of that cost by the federal government, which pays most of the cost of Medicaid (Shields, Kansas Health Institute, 11/19).

Adult Diaper Vendors Fight Competitive Bid
Right now, more than 1,400 companies bill the states Medicaid program a combined $140 million a year for incontinence products. The comptrollers office says that paring down the list of vendors to a few select partners would save Medicaid $15 million a year and reduce the fraud they say is rampant in an industry that serves 100,000 of the states Medicaid patients (Ramshaw, Texas Tribune, 11/19).

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