HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds that the Missouri General Assembly does not seem to be acting on the recommendations of the Missouri Medicaid Reform Commission, formed last year to propose changes to the state-federal health benefit for the poor. According to the latest issue of Kansas & Missouri Health Plan Analysis, Missouri's enabling legislation for Medicaid is due to expire at the end of 2007, which will create more urgency in the next legislative session.
"It's surprising that a governor and legislature who placed such urgency on reform a year ago were willing to settle for eligibility cuts and a lukewarm response to a comprehensive and compelling list of recommendations," said Rick Byrne, HealthLeaders-InterStudy analyst. "Last year, Missouri had the second-largest disenrollment of Medicaid members, after Tennessee."
In Missouri, 94,850, or nearly 10 percent of the Medicaid population, lost services and some 300,000 saw services reduced.
The Reform Commission's report called for emphasis on personal responsibility, preventive measures and use of technology to control costs. It also recommended expanding the HMO model beyond the current 37 counties and considering a pilot program to expand managed care to aged, blind and disabled enrollees. Currently, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Missouri ranks 43rd in managed care penetration among the 48 states offering it for Medicaid. Just 44 percent of all Missouri Medicaid beneficiaries enroll in a managed care plan.
Other health plan news in Kansas and Missouri: * Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has co-branded with WellPoint Inc. in order to get a piece of the Medicare Part D action. * Most Missouri HMOs continue to post positive net income for the first half of 2005. About Health Plan Analysis
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