Georgia's estimate Medicaid shortfall is $300 million; Texas' independent pharmacists upset by Medicaid transition

Georgia official reports that the funding gap comes as the state expects to add 600,000 people.

Georgia Health News: Medicaid Faces 'Daunting' Budget Challenges
The state's Medicaid agency has a projected $300 million hole to fill in next year's budget. If the shortfall remains at that level, the financial request to the General Assembly in January will be "very high" from a historical perspective, said Vince Harris, chief financial officer of the Department of Community Health, after the agency's board meeting Thursday. The projected $308 million shortfall for fiscal 2013 stems mostly from growth in the program's spending (Miller, 6/15).

The Atlanta Journal Constitution: State Facing More Than $300 Million Medicaid Shortfall
The looming deficit comes at a time when the state health agency is also facing the addition of another 600,000-plus Georgians to its Medicaid rolls starting in 2014, as part of the program's expansion under the health care law. ... The health care program is also looking at a $90 million deficit for the current fiscal year. That accumulated in large part because the state legislature did not allocate funds for the final month of payments to three for-profit companies that manage care for primarily low-income kids and moms in Medicaid (Williams, 6/14).

The Texas Tribune/The New York Times: For Some Druggists, Medicaid Changes Mean Pain
The transition to managed care this spring was bumpy, with numerous computer errors and miscommunications between the State Health and Human Services Commission, pharmacists and the pharmacy benefit managers. Although the state said that the program has become more stable and that the health plans quickly resolved the problems, many independent pharmacists -; particularly those who serve a high volume of Medicaid patients -; are still upset. They say the drastically reduced reimbursement rates set by the managed care plans to save the state money are forcing them out of business (Aaronson, 6/14).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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