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Mississippi Senate plan steps back from Medicaid changes

MGN Online

A key state senator is backing off plans to change Mississippi's state-federal Medicaid program.

Posted: Jan 29, 2018 7:29 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A key state senator is backing off plans to change Mississippi's state-federal Medicaid program.

The Senate Medicaid Committee on Monday advanced a version of Senate Bill 2836removing earlier proposals to cut payments to health care providers and require all Medicaid spending to be administered by managed care companies. It goes to the Senate for more debate.

Senate Medicaid Committee Chairman Brice Wiggins, a Pascagoula Republican, said he wants to study those proposals, saying health care providers object. For example, nursing home owners don't want to get Medicaid money through managed care, instead of the traditional fee-for-service billing method.

Wiggins told reporters that feedback from those who provide Medicaid services is "'We want to be paid, as opposed to control costs.'"

House Medicaid Committee Chairman Chris Brown, a Nettleton Republican, said his committee will make its own proposal Tuesday, hours before a deadline. Brown, like Wiggins, said he won't try to force more of the program into managed care. He said he might propose "a few things" to mandate cost reductions.

Mississippi's Medicaid program covers one-fourth of the state's population, including people in nursing homes, disabled adults, pregnant women and young children. The program is projected to spend $945 million in state money and more than $5 billion in federal money this year.

Lawmakers must vote on reauthorizing the program this year or parts will legally expire.

Neither chairman is supporting an effort by Mississippi hospitals to mandate that some of the Medicaid program be run through a hospital-sponsored provider care organization. The state Medicaid agency rejected a bid from hospitals to get a share of Medicaid business last year. Brown said he's open to requiring that a provider organization be included, but said he doesn't want to award it to the existing hospital group without a bid.

Neither Brown nor Wiggins say they intend to direct Mississippi Medicaid to apply for waivers from existing federal rules, and they plan no legislative ruling on Gov. Phil Bryant's plan to have the Department of Human Services determine who's eligible for Medicaid. With the governor's backing, Medicaid is currently asking federal authorities to allow it to require adult caregivers to work to remain eligible for health coverage.

Wiggins' plan would change Medicaid rules so that the Medicaid eligibility of prisoners is suspended, instead of cut off. That way, county jail and state prison officials could take them to hospitals, and if they stayed there longer than 24 hours, reactivated benefits mean Medicaid would pay. That would shift some medical bills from counties and the state Department of Corrections onto Medicaid. Because of Mississippi's high share of federal reimbursement, federal money would pay three-quarters of costs.

Wiggins said the move could also provide better access to care for mentally ill inmates.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314509

Reported Deaths: 7247
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21626259
Hinds20359415
Harrison17934309
Rankin13634278
Jackson13447246
Madison10099217
Lee9980174
Jones8381163
Forrest7683152
Lauderdale7191241
Lowndes6401147
Lamar623086
Lafayette6200118
Washington5339134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462798
Panola4588107
Pearl River4512146
Marshall4443103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420772
Monroe4113133
Union411076
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3968110
Hancock379386
Leflore3497125
Sunflower336090
Tate334084
Pike3325105
Scott315973
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311669
Itawamba300477
Copiah297065
Coahoma295479
Simpson295288
Tippah288768
Adams286882
Prentiss279760
Marion269280
Leake268373
Wayne262641
Grenada261487
Covington259681
George248048
Newton246861
Winston227281
Tishomingo226967
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw207857
Holmes189173
Clay185454
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178841
Clarke178080
Calhoun170832
Yalobusha164338
Smith162434
Walthall133945
Greene130633
Lawrence128624
Montgomery126942
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83823
Quitman80916
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67331
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 532895

Reported Deaths: 11001
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson771431528
Mobile41089808
Madison34837505
Tuscaloosa25810454
Montgomery24355588
Shelby23730249
Baldwin21191309
Lee15892171
Calhoun14522316
Morgan14324279
Etowah13861353
Marshall12250223
Houston10581281
Elmore10060205
Limestone9986151
Cullman9705194
St. Clair9702243
Lauderdale9441242
DeKalb8846187
Talladega8255176
Walker7246277
Autauga6938108
Jackson6815112
Blount6694137
Colbert6310134
Coffee5524119
Dale4850111
Russell443238
Chilton4308112
Franklin426282
Covington4136118
Tallapoosa4039152
Escambia393977
Chambers3578123
Dallas3557152
Clarke351161
Marion3130101
Pike311377
Lawrence300798
Winston275673
Bibb261564
Geneva251477
Marengo249664
Pickens234761
Barbour231756
Hale223277
Butler216469
Fayette212562
Henry189044
Cherokee184745
Randolph181742
Monroe178040
Washington167639
Macon159950
Clay156857
Crenshaw152757
Cleburne149141
Lamar142935
Lowndes139053
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110629
Coosa107928
Perry107826
Sumter104832
Greene92534
Choctaw61124
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