KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

N.Y. Brothers Earn $1 Million With Medicaid-Financed Business

The New York Times details a the expensive lifestyle of two men from Brooklyn who earned nearly $1 million a year when running a Medicaid-financed nonprofit organization serving the developmentally disabled. Meanwhile, in Florida, state officials submitted their plans for converting Medicaid to a managed care program.

The New York Times: Reaping Millions In Nonprofit Care For Disabled
Medicaid money created quite a nice life for the Levy brothers from Flatbush, Brooklyn. The brothers, Philip and Joel, earned close to $1 million a year each as the two top executives running a Medicaid-financed nonprofit organization serving the developmentally disabled (Buettner, 8/2).

Palm Beach Post: Florida Submits Medicaid Plan Based On Managed Care To Feds For Approval
Florida officials sent a wide-ranging application Monday to the federal government for steering almost 3 million Medicaid patients into managed care, a major shift that has sparked heavy lobbying from critics who demand the Obama administration deny the move. But Republican Gov. Rick Scott said he was confident the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would approve the request, which supporters say could save the state more than $1 billion when fully in place (Kennedy, 8/1).

The Associated Press/Miami Herald: State, Feds Hammer Out Medicaid Overhaul
Federal health officials have granted Florida a two-week extension as both parties hammer out an agreement to privatize Medicaid statewide.Federal officials said they may terminate supplemental funds to the low-income pool by December 2013. The program funnels extra money to hospitals and providers that serve uninsured patients. Florida health officials said they were disappointed feds would consider such serious changes at the last minute (8/1).

Health News Florida: Huge Medicaid Plan Nearly Ready
Florida Medicaid officials worked all weekend on a statewide managed-care expansion plan. ... The controversial plan, aimed at reining in the rising costs of the health insurance program for the poor, requires nearly all Medicaid recipients to be enrolled in HMOs or similar managed-care plans. That includes, for the first time, elderly and disabled people who are in nursing homes or headed in that direction (Gentry, 8/1).

And in other Medicaid news:

Arizona Republic: Funds To Aid Arizona's Mentally Ill
Gov. Jan Brewer today will announce an agreement between Maricopa County's safety-net health care system and Magellan Health Services, the county's behavioral-health administrator, that will put traditional doctors in mental-health clinics to tackle the chronic physical health problems of people with serious mental illness. The move dovetails with a state effort, supported by a $500,000 federal planning grant, to create an integrated "medical home" for people with serious mental illness enrolled in the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state's Medicaid program. The idea is to put one entity in charge of a person's health care, both medical and mental. Data sharing and on-site coordination between health professionals have been shown to reduce medication costs, identify untreated conditions, improve overall health care and keep people out of the hospital (Reinhart, 8/2).

Kansas Health Institute News: Dental Association To Urge Members To Accept Medicaid Patients
In Kansas, children 18 and under are eligible for dental coverage under Medicaid. However, only 350 of the state's 1,425 dentists treated at least one Medicaid patient last year, according to the KDA. About 129,000 children received oral care through the Medicaid program between July 2010 and June 2011 - an average of more than one Medicaid patient per day for the dentists who accept them (Cauthon, 8/1).

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