KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Medicaid: Ariz. Gets Fed’s OK To Expand Kids’ Coverage; Docs Want To Share Minn. Rebates

States around the nation are grappling with Medicaid issues ranging from expanding coverage and making deals with new managed care providers to sharing insurer rebates, forging budget cuts, waiting on court action and admitting large data breaches.

Arizona Republic: Feds Approve Plan To Restore Kids' Health Coverage
The state will add nearly 22,000 low-income Arizona children to its health-insurance program under a deal that won federal approval Friday. The deal also will provide three large hospital groups with federal funding to care for uninsured patients. In total, the new agreement brings in more than $400 million in local and federal money to cover low-income, uninsured Arizonans through January 2014. No new state funding is involved (Reinhart, 4/6).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Arizona Gets OK To Expand Health Coverage To Kids
Nearly 22,000 poor kids in Arizona will gain health insurance coverage under a Medicaid deal the state has reached with the Obama administration, federal officials said Friday (Galewitz, 5/6).

Boston Globe: N.H. Taps HealthNet For Role In Medicaid
New Hampshire officials have chosen Boston Medical Center's HealthNet Plan as one of three insurers to manage care for low-income and disabled residents, if a proposal to overhaul the state's Medicaid program gets the necessary approvals from the governor's executive council and federal authorities. ... The plan -- and the Boston insurer's interest in it -- reflects growing competition in the Medicaid market, which historically has not been thought of as a fruitful area for business (Conaboy, 4/9).

Stateline: Connecticut Revisits Old-School Medicaid Financing
But after more than 15 years of struggling with troubled managed care arrangements (in its Medicaid program), Connecticut is retreating. State officials say the system was no longer saving the state money and patients were not getting the care they need -- just the opposite of what managed care organizations promise. So to regain control of its health care programs, the state cut its ties with managed care organizations and started over (Vestal, 4/9).

California Healthline: Medi-Cal Cuts Face Another Preliminary Injunction
The Department of Health Care Services has been on the losing end so far of four court cases over the 10 percent cut in Medi-Cal provider rates. … Now it's adult day service providers' turn for a judicial ruling. A decision is expected today from federal judge Christina Snyder on a request for another preliminary injunction. This one is from adult day health providers who worked under the Adult Day Health Care program before it was terminated and replaced by the Community Based Adult Services program, or CBAS (Gorn, 4/9).

Minnesota Public Radio: Senate Passes Health Services Bill, Restoring Some Cuts
The Minnesota Senate has passed its health and human services spending bill. The legislation got a boost this week after the announcement that the state will receive an estimated $35 million from four managed-care plans that administer the state's Medicaid and MinnesotaCare programs. Republican leaders want to spend nearly $22 million of that on additional health and human services programs, some of which had been cut as part of last year's budget agreement. However, some DFL senators argued lawmakers should restore even more of the cuts. Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, said the state should spend another $6 million on programs that pay for doctors' residency programs in rural Minnesota (Dunbar, 4/6).

Minnesota Public Radio: Minn. Doctors Want Share Of Health Funds
The state's largest physician group, the Minnesota Medical Association, says doctors and clinics that treat Medicaid and MinnesotaCare patients should get a share of an estimated extra $35 million coming into the state's coffers this summer. The money is part of a deal the Dayton administration made with four large HMOs to return profits from the government programs above 1 percent of revenue (Stawicki, 4/6).

Modern Healthcare: Utah Officials: Medicaid Records Breach Worse Than First Thought
Utah's Medicaid records breach is worse than initially reported. Utah Health Department officials are now saying that approximately 181,604 Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program recipients had their records exposed in a breach that reportedly occurred March 30 and was disclosed by the state on April 4.  At first, Utah officials reported that the hackers -- reportedly from Eastern Europe -- accessed about 24,000 records, which may have included recipients' names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and procedure codes as well as their physicians' names, addresses and tax and national provider identification numbers (Conn, 4/6). 

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