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Medicare, Medicaid, Health Reform

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Monthly Archives: June 2006

Medicaid Budget Cuts: Restrictions on Provider Taxes and Cap on Medicaid Payments to Public Providers

The Bush Administration is preparing regulations to cut federal Medicaid funding to states by about $6 billion. In the President's budget for FY 2007, the Bush Administration proposed a series of Medicaid budget cuts. Most of these would require legislation and the House and Senate have shown no desire to cut federal Medicaid spending in advance of the November election....

Medicaid Reform: New Benchmark Benefit Packages Under Deficit Reduction Act

Using new flexibility created by the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA), states may restructure Medicaid benefits. States may now customize Medicaid health care benefits to specific populations, model some benefit package after commercial-like health plans, and offer additional benefits as incentives to reward healthier patient behavior. Based on the concept of benchmark benefit packages first used in the State Children's Health...

Over-the-Counter Drugs in Medicare Part D: Impact of OTCs on Medicare Drug Plans, Medicaid Programs, Pharmacies, and Drug Manufacturers

Medicare drug plans will dramatically increase coverage of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in 2007 based on new guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In creating Medicare Part D, the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) excluded OTCs from coverage. Taxpayer dollars could not be used to pay for OTC products even when clinically appropriate and cost effective. This was...

Medicaid Restructuring: New Medicaid Reforms in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Idaho

Using new benefit design and cost-sharing options created by the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA), states are busy restructuring Medicaid programs. With recently announced approvals from HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Idaho are the first states to take advantage of DRA flexibility. With the help of top advisors, other states are working on their own Medicaid initiatives, using...

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