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November 1, 2009

View Archives Issues

  • States taking steps to facilitate Medicaid application process

    If individuals "churn" in and out of the Medicaid program, they may end up with a different primary care provider and disruption in preventive services or care of chronic health conditions. To prevent this from happening, a growing number of states are trying to make the application and renewal processes for Medicaid easier and more efficient.
  • Fiscal Fitness: How States Cope: Massachusetts continues landmark health care reform

    Like most states, Massachusetts has experienced a significant drop in tax revenues due to the economic downturn. In order to balance the budget, midyear reductions were needed in FY2009, and the legislature and governor needed to propose new revenue sources and significant reductions for FY2010.
  • Some states moving to 'carve out' model for pharmacy services

    Should states include the drug benefit in the set of services for which their capitated health plans are at risk (the "carve-in" model)? Or should they pay for those medications directly (the "carve-out" model)? This is a question that many Medicaid managed care programs are asking.
  • State Medicaid programs take control of rising pharmacy costs

    Pharmacy costs may be the "low-hanging fruit" that already have been decreased as much as possible by state Medicaid programs, but many continue to search for additional cost savings.
  • Cuts to mental health could have unintended consequences

    Due to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which required Medicaid programs to maintain eligibility standards as they were in June 2008 in order to receive enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funding, Medicaid mental health services typically were not cut. However, this was far from the case for non-Medicaid mental health services, which were severely cut in many states. In addition, a troubling question remains for Medicaid: What will happen when the stimulus funds lapse?
  • E-prescribing in Medicaid set to soar under HITECH

    Some state Medicaid programs already have effective e-prescribing programs in place due to Medicaid Transformation Grants, while others are just getting started. Either way, these programs are expected to get a big push forward due to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).