Medicaid news: Cost-savings for programs in Colo., N.C.; Fight over expansion brews in Ark.

State Medicaid budget issues show promise in Colorado -- where a cost savings program may be working -- and North Carolina -- where the program has spent less than anticipated.

The Denver Post: Key Medicaid Reform Effort In Colorado Shows Promising Savings
Colorado's key Medicaid-reform effort -- matching thousands of state-supported patients to "medical homes" and careful case management -- is showing promising savings, health officials will report to the legislature this fall. More than 128,000 Medicaid clients are enrolled in seven case management regions, and preliminary data for the first six months of billing shows a 14 percent drop for inpatient hospital stays among children, state officials said (Booth, 9/12).

North Carolina Health News: Medicaid Program In The Black -- Just
Spending in the state's Medicaid program is down slightly in the past two months, a state health official told lawmakers Tuesday. During a meeting of the Health and Human Services oversight committee at the state legislature, Medicaid chief business officer Steve Owen told lawmakers that compared to budget projections, the program had spent about $4 million dollars less than forecast (Hoban, 9/11).

In the meantime, a fight brews between Arkansas's governor and the legislature over whether to implement the health law's Medicaid expansion there --

The Associated Press: Governor Supporting Expansion Of Medicaid
Gov. Mike Beebe said Tuesday he supports expanding Medicaid eligibility in Arkansas under the federal health care law after officials assured him the state could later opt out, setting up a potentially heated fight with Republican lawmakers as they try to win control of the state Legislature. Beebe, a Democrat who had said he was inclined to support the expansion, said he decided to back it after receiving those assurances in writing from the federal government. Beebe noted that the expansion will still require support from state lawmakers next year (9/12).


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org 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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