Kip Piper's Health Care Blog
Medicare, Medicaid, Health Reform

Medicaid has become a fiscal disaster for states. With spiraling costs, bulging enrollment, and a degree of complex only a quantum physicist could love, Medicaid is in desperate need of large-scale reform. The National Governors Association (NGA) has adopted an interim policy on comprehensive Medicaid reform. The policy, which all...
States continue to serve as laboratories for health care reform. In recent years, many of these state-based efforts have focused on: 1. Leveraging Employer-Based Coverage: With the goal of making health insurance coverage more affordable to small businesses and their employees, state tools include (a) premium assistance, (b) reinsurance to...
In 2005, state Medicaid programs will pay for over 18 percent of the nation's quarter trillion dollar pharmaceutical market. Thanks to an excellent new analysis by Jim Verdier and colleagues at Mathematica Policy Research, we have new insights into cost and use patterns in Medicaid. Some highlights: ● Average monthly Medicaid...
In his proposed federal budget for FY 2006, President Bush is proposing $60 billion worth of cuts to the Medicaid program. Concerned about perceived gaming by states and not wanting to open up the far more troubling can of worms that is Medicare, the Administration singled out Medicaid for...
Some legal gurus are questioning the constitutionality of a key provision of the Medicare prescription drug benefit: the so-called "clawback" provision that requires states to send the federal government cash to help cover the cost of drugs for dual eligibles. The mandatory payments are enormous - $6 billion in...
Under President Bush's FY 2006 budget, state Medicaid programs face the prospect of significant changes, including funding cuts of $60 billion, some new expansions, and additional flexibility. Now costing taxpayers over $300 billion a year and growing at 8-12 percent in most states, Medicaid is a hot topic inside...
From 2000 to 2003, a sharp rise in enrollment during the economic downturn triggered Medicaid budgets to increase by a third - an average annual increase of 10.2 percent. A new analysis in Health Affairs found that during this four-year period: ● In per capita terms, average annual Medicaid costs...
As a tool to control costs and improve care for vulnerable patients, disease management is now used in some form by over half of all state Medicaid programs. To help states craft their disease management programs, a variety of technical resources are now available. The National Pharmaceutical Council offers a...
Medicaid health plans are the Ginger Rogers of managed care. They have to do everything commercial and Medicare health plans do but have to do it backwards and in high heels. Despite dealing with more complex requirements and the toughest, most vulnerable patient populations, Medicaid health plans often provide...

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