KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Medicaid News: Conn. Proposal To Restrict Eligibility Rankles Lawmakers

A proposal in Connecticut to tighten eligibility for 13,000 low-income adults to receive Medicaid has divided lawmakers in the state, which wants the federal government to allow temporary restrictions on who can be enrolled in the program.

CT Mirror: Proposed Cutbacks In Health Care For Poor Hangs In Political Limbo
A controversial plan that could end state health assistance for more than 13,000 of Connecticut's poorest residents fell into political limbo late Tuesday afternoon. After a day-long meeting, two panels of state lawmakers balked -- at least for now -- at giving Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's administration the go-ahead to set into motion a plan that could limit who in Connecticut can receive Medicaid, government's health program for the poor. The administration wants the federal government to allow Connecticut to impose two temporary restrictions on the Medicaid for Low Income Adults program, known as LIA (Phaneuf, 7/24).

The Associated Press/Houston Chronicle: Poor Adults Oppose Conn. Medicaid Rules Changes
Poor adults who rely on a state insurance program for medical care and advocates for the needy urged state legislators on Tuesday to oppose a plan by Connecticut's Department of Social Services that would tighten eligibility rules. Sheldon Toubman, staff attorney at New Haven Legal Assistance, told the General Assembly's Appropriations and Human Services Committees that the state's application seeking federal approval to change its eligibility rules is a "serious mistake." He predicted thousands of people, especially those 19-26 years old, will ultimately end up without any health coverage (Haigh, 7/24).

In other state Medicaid news --

Georgia Health News: List Shows Provider Tax's Bottom Line For Hospitals
The state's Medicaid agency has released an updated list of hospital "winners and losers" under the Georgia hospital provider tax. The hospital levy has helped Georgia raise money for its Medicaid program, which along with PeachCare serves 1.7 million Georgians. Generally, a hospital pays 1.45 percent of its net patient revenue in tax. The state, at the same time, offsets this expense through an increase of 11.88 percent in hospital Medicaid payments. In fiscal 2011, the state collected $215 million in fees, which were used to draw down an added $590 million in federal funds, used for paying Medicaid providers, according to the state Department of Community Health (Miller, 7/24).

California Healthline: Timeline Delineates Duals Project Tasks
The state Department of Health Care Services has released a timeline of deadlines and target dates for its Coordinated Care Initiative, also known as the duals demonstration project. Eventually, the duals project hopes to move about one million Californians dually eligible for Medi-Cal and Medicare benefits into Medi-Cal managed care plans. The idea, state officials have said, is to provide better, more integrated care by pooling the funding sources from two disparate programs. Coordinated care could provide stronger case management, offer needed services and save state and federal dollars. The pilot program in eight counties, beginning in March, 2013, will serve about 700,000 of the state's dual eligible (Gorn, 7/24).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Minnesota Wants Outside Audit Of Medicaid HMOs
The Minnesota Department of Human Services announced Monday that it is seeking bids for an outside audit of Medicaid payment rates for fiscal years 2003 through 2011. The move follows months of controversy over whether the state's contracts have been too generous (Stawicki, 7/24).

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