medicaid

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A one-year reauthorization for a tax that provides a large chunk of funding for Missouri's Medicaid program moved toward Governor Jay Nixon's desk on the final day of session.

Missouri Senate leaders are hoping to find a way to pass a critical medical funding bill, despite the chamber being all but shut down.

Tyler Adkisson

The six speakers representing the City of Columbia — including Mayor Bob McDavid — all shot a very clear set of data-backed messages to state legislators. But even with a multitude of statistics, one main point reigned above all others.

"So it's disingenuous for some legislators to say that we can't afford to expand Medicaid, just as it's disingenuous to say that Medicaid is broken," Fourth Ward City Council Member Ian Thomas said.


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images_of_money / flickr

  A new audit claims Missouri owes the federal government $34 million for not complying with Medicaid regulations.

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services audit set for release Tuesday shows Missouri didn't bill drug manufacturers for rebates.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that meant drug companies kept more money while there was less for Medicaid recipients.

The Missouri Department of Social Services oversees the program and says it disagrees with the audit.

A department spokeswoman says the amount owed is closer to $7 million.

j. stephenconn / Flickr

Some mental health providers in rural Missouri are raising concerns about a provision passed by the Missouri Senate that would shift about 200,000 Medicaid recipients onto privatized managed care programs.

Loretta Fuge is a psychologist based in Mansfield, Mo. Currently, Fuge is reimbursed for seeing Medicaid patients through the state’s fee-for-service model. She has some experience with managed care and, she says, she isn’t a fan.

Missouri Senators Reject Medicaid Expansion

Apr 2, 2015
Missouri Capitol
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers rejected a bill proposal calling for Medicaid eligibility expansion made available by the Affordable Care Act.

State senators voted 25-9 against Medicaid expansion on Tuesday after a two hour debate. The vote went directly along party lines, with the Republicans overwhelming the Democratic minority.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

About 300 members of the Missouri Medicaid Coalition marched through the Capitol halls on Thursday, March 19, urging lawmakers to expand Medicaid eligibility for low-income adults.

Republican legislative leaders have said that expanding Medicaid is a nonstarter this year.

Democratic House members have used debate on next fiscal year's budget as an opportunity to criticize the GOP for blocking the measure, which could mean as much as $2 billion in additional federal money.

If you’re in the market for fluorescent light bulbs, you might talk to Chris Smiley. In the past few weeks, she’s been trying to sell off what’s left of Sac-Osage Hospital.

“Casework, lighting, plumping, sinks, toilets. Anything you want,” Smiley says.

That’s not in her job description. She’s actually the CEO of Sac-Osage, a hospital in Osceola, Mo., that closed in September.

Andy Lamb / Flickr

Hepatitis C is a virus that affects the liver, often causing liver cancer or cirrhosis. Although they share a name, it is completely different from hepatitis A or B so current hepatitis vaccines don’t guard against hep C.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 3.2 million people in the United States have hepatitis C. But Bruce Burkett, Founder and Director of the Hep C Alliance, said the disease often goes untreated simply because people don’t know they are infected.

 


Teddy Nykiel / KBIA News

Residents from across Missouri attended a press conference at the Missouri State Capitol on Wednesday to discuss the possibilities of Medicaid expansion in the state.

Five panelists led the conference and told their stories about being a part of the coverage gap. This term describes the situation of people who earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid but don’t earn enough money to pay for health insurance or qualify for incentives through the Affordable Care Act.

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acephotos1 / dreamstime

 State officials say Missouri's Medicaid program will save an estimated $4.2 million in fiscal year 2016 by using a newer, cheaper drug to treat hepatitis C.

senate.mo.gov

A Missouri Republican who supports Medicaid expansion will introduce a bill that would cover veterans and their families.

Missouri residents with incomes below the federal poverty level, or $19,530 for a family of three, do not qualify for Medicaid or for subsidies to buy health insurance through a federally run website.

Sen. Ryan Silvey, of Kansas City, says that group includes veterans' families. He plans to introduce a bill expanding Medicaid for veterans that fall in the coverage gap created by Missouri's decision not to expand the program.

Images of Money via Flickr

The Affordable Care Act included a temporary bump in the Medicaid fees paid to physicians for certain primary care services. The intention behind the two-year, federally-funded increase was to encourage more physicians to participate in Medicaid to accommodate an expanding pool of Medicaid patients anticipated by the law.

But a 2012 Supreme Court decision opened a window for states to reject Medicaid expansion – Missouri is one of 23 states that have chosen not to expanded coverage – and as of Jan. 1, the Medicaid fee bump is expired as well.

I spoke with Dave Dillon and Andrew Wheeler of the Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) about the impact the fee increase expiration will have on Missouri hospitals.


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Missourians trying to use a call center to sign up for the state's Medicaid program are running into long delays, prompting nearly half of them to hang up before they get help.

Images of Money via Flickr

Missouri's Medicaid program is leading the nation in the number of people dropped from its rolls.

New figures from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that Missouri's Medicaid enrollment dropped by 37,260 people in June, compared with its average enrollment from July through September of last year.

That was the largest numerical decrease of any state, though it ranked second behind Nebraska in terms of the percentage decline.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri's budget concerns are continuing to mount.

Attorney General Chris Koster's office says the state cannot count on receiving $50 million of tobacco settlement proceeds in time to be used during the 2015 budget year that starts July 1.

How divisive was the debate over Medicaid expansion in Missouri this year?

Just ask Debbie Cole, a 51-year-old mother of four who lives in Butler, Mo., and signed a petition asking state legislators to extend Medicaid to cover more low-income residents.

“We all live different lives, and some people out there may be working two or three jobs and have no insurance, and they need it to survive,” she says.

David Sachs / SEIU

  

  By now Missourians are familiar with the debate over expanding Medicaid in the state.

The Affordable Care Act gives most people the opportunity to purchase health insurance with help from federal tax credits. But individuals earning too little to qualify for these tax credits but too much to be covered under for Missouri Medicaid are stuck in what is called “The Gap.”

Maureen Lewis-Stump

Medicaid expansion has been a widely talked about subject throughout the state of Missouri. Medicaid is federally funded state healthcare program for those that do not make enough money to be their own healthcare, or their employer does not provide it for them.

The Medicaid policy in place now only covers those who make less than $4,500 a year total for a family of four. It also allows subsidies paid to those who make more than $89,000 a year. Those in between this gap are left without health insurance.

Katie Hiler / KBIA

  Note: A portion of this story was aired as part of the Health & Wealth Update for 5/14/2014

When I think about adult dental care in Missouri, I think of Ben Affleck. In the movie Argo, CIA agent Tony Mendez, played by Affleck, pitches his plan to extract six American hostages from Iran by pretending to be on a Hollywood scouting trip. The CIA director doesn’t think it’ll work and wants to look for a better option. That’s when Mendez says:

“There are only bad options. It’s about finding the best one.”

That’s what it’s like for Missourians who can’t afford private dental insurance. Back in 2005 Missouri de-funded dental care for all Medicaid recipients except, children, pregnant women and the disabled. And it’s left a lot of people with only bad options.

Katie Hiler / KBIA

Back in 2005, Missouri de-funded dental care for all Medicaid recipients except, children, pregnant women and the disabled. And it’s left a lot of people with only bad options.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers have passed a budget that would restore Medicaid benefits cut a decade ago and boost spending on public education.

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

Missouri lawmakers are poised to give final approval to a state budget that could restore Medicaid benefits that were cut a decade ago.

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images_of_money / flickr

A renegade Republican has teamed up with minority party Democrats to deliver the first affirmative vote of the year for a plan to expand Medicaid eligibility.

In the final weeks of the legislative session, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has made a last-ditch effort to resurrect a push to expand Missouri’s Medicaid program and accept roughly $2 billion a year in federal money.

The governor, a Democrat, unveiled his “Missouri Health Works’’ program before business leaders Monday in Cape Girardeau. By coincidence or design, state House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka and an opponent of Medicaid expansion, was also in Cape on Monday with conservative low-tax icon Grover Norquist to highlight a different issue.

Conor Lawless / Flickr

The Missouri House of Representatives has proposed adding $48 million in federal and state funds to next year’s Medicaid budget to cover adult dental care. Last week the Senate Appropriations Committee agreed to the additional $48 million, but with some caveats. The money would only be used to pay for preventative dental care, like maintenance and extraction procedures. Part of the $48 million would also go towards paying dentists more for these procedures. Currently, the state only reimburses dentists up to 35 percent of usual and customary costs.

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Herry Lawford / flickr

Missouri lawmakers appear likely to restore dental coverage for hundreds of thousands of adult Medicaid recipients, nearly a decade after it was eliminated.

missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Some Missouri Republicans have adamantly opposed expanding Medicaid to low-income adults by tapping into billions of federal dollars under President Barack Obama's health care law.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

A bill revamping the management of Missouri's Medicaid program has been set aside after debate turned tense between two Republican senators.

Senators Ryan Silvey and John Lamping engaged in a sometimes pointed discussion Wednesday during which they questioned each other's conservative ideology and rhetoric.

Silvey wants to expand health care coverage to thousands of low-income adults by tapping into an influx of federal Medicaid dollars available under President Barack Obama's health care law. The Republican from Kansas City says it can be done without busting the budget.

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