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Thursday, March 4, 2010

South Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas Medicaid Cuts

From Kaiser Daily Health News (sent by Marsha Katz)

South Carolina, Oklahoma and Arkansas Grapple With Medicaid Cuts To Help Balance Budget

[Mar 03, 2010]

States consider major cuts to Medicaid services and reimbursement rates to help fill gaps in the budget.

The Associated Press: "Lawmakers are considering cutting all services for nearly 26,000 people with disabilities as South Carolina tries to plug a $560 million budget hole. Parents say the proposed cuts to day care programs and other services would force them to give up much-needed jobs to stay home and care for their young and adult children." But "[l]awmakers say they have little choice. They are trying to close a shortfall in next year's budget in a heavily Republican state where tax increases are not considered a viable option" (Davenport, 3/3).

McKnight's Long-Term Care News: "Starting April 1, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority is reducing Medicaid reimbursements to nursing homes by 3.25%. While the reduction is expected to save the Medicaid agency $5 million, it also will result in the loss of $15 million in federal matching dollars, according to a Tulsa World report. Long-term care and other healthcare providers that serve Medicaid patients will face the same payment cut" (3/1).

Arkansas News: "Suggestions received by the state on how to reduce future Medicaid costs by up to $400 million are being placed on the Internet for public viewing, and the state Medicaid director said today he hopes to finalize a recommendation to the governor this spring. Everything from cuts to Medicaid providers to charging Medicaid recipients additional co-payments is being considered, said Gene Gessow, director of the Division of Medical Services for the state Department of Human Services" (Moritz, 3/2).

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