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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