States to Tighten Medicaid Controls in 2017

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Source: MedCity News

With a record 73 million people enrolled in Medicaid, most states next year will tighten controls on spending to battle swelling budgets in the public health insurance program for low-income and disabled Americans, according to a report released Thursday.

The leading strategies to contain costs are already used in some states, but they will soon take root in more places, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported in its annual 50-state survey. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.)

They include hiring private managed care companies to deliver services to enrollees, shifting more long-term care services from nursing homes to community settings and restricting the use of ever-more expensive prescription drugs. The push to stretch dollars further is a reaction to next year’s reduction in federal aid for states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia did so and starting Jan. 1, they will begin paying 5 percent of their expansion costs. The federal government paid all the expansion costs in 2014 through 2016.

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