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Kaiser Health News: States moving toward more Medicaid managed care

Kaiser Health News reports that states all over the country, including Florida, are moving toward Medicaid managed care and are looking “to private health plans for help closing budget gaps.” According to Kaiser:

State officials expect the trend to continue in the state-federal program for the poor, according to a survey released today by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

Officials in 27 states (of 45 responding) reported that they expect to lean more heavily on managed care in the near future. Ten states, including California, Florida and Texas reported that they have specific plans to expand managed care to new geographic areas or groups of patients, such as the elderly.

Florida has been moving Medicaid patients onto managed care plans for a little while now through its Medicaid Reform Pilot, which has covered a handful of counties. State officials are currently awaiting approval from the federal government for a plan that some say expand the pilots statewide.

More than 100 groups across the state have already called upon the feds to stop the state’s plans. In a letter sent to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the groups asked that the agency reject “the State’s application for a Medicaid waiver that would place all recipients in HMO and HMO-like plans with unprecedented power to control access to health benefits and services.”

In the few years since their implementation, there have been a slew of complaints about the existing Medicaid managed care plans.

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