Medicaid

A Medicaid fraud recovery bill has gotten initial approval from the House of Representatives. The bill would permit the state to investigate Medicaid fraud by medical providers and recipients without involving the federal government… Currently investigations only go forward when the federal government decides to investigate.

Representative Elaine Harvey says the bill is necessary to recover millions of dollars for the state.

The State Senate has soundly defeated a bill that would have led to the state expanding Medicaid Services for nearly 30 thousand more Wyoming residents.  States can opt to expand the services under the Affordable Care Act and the federal government will pay the total cost for the first 36 months of the expansion starting in 2014.  Senator John Schiffer of Kaycee says Medicaid costs have hurt the state, but if the state expands, it means the federal government will pay for services that Wyoming currently pays for.  He says that is a good deal.

The Senate Health and Labor Committee has voted down a measure that would expand Medicaid services in the state.  The program would allow more low income people to qualify for health insurance coverage. 

The Senate Health and Labor Committee has voted down a measure that would expand Medicaid services in the state.  The program would allow more low income people to qualify for health insurance coverage. 

After several days of discussion, the Senate Health and Labor Committee approved a bill that is intended to reform Medicaid in Wyoming.  Medicaid is an expensive program for the state to run and lawmakers have been looking at how to reduce costs, but not take away services.  One significant change would be how the state handles those with developmental disabilities and brain injuries.  The state spends $120 million a year on those services. Cheyenne Senator Leslie Nutting says they would reduce costs without eliminating services by trying to focus coverage on services that people actually n

Governor Matt Mead is urging legislators not to dismiss health care issues, but to study them and craft a Wyoming response to the Affordable Care Act.  During his state of the state message today, Mead asked legislators to study both the health insurance exchange and Medicaid expansion. 

Gov. Matt Mead is set to deliver his annual State of the State address to lawmakers in Cheyenne on this morning.

Mead is presiding over Wyoming at a time of transition. State financial analysts warn state energy revenues are likely to stay flat for years to come.

Mead is proposing 6.5-percent budget cuts for state agencies, not counting one-time project funding. The cuts amount to more than $60 million over the coming year.

Wyoming Legislature set to convene today

Jan 8, 2013

The Wyoming Legislature is set to convene at noon today for the first day of its general session, which is set to run through early March.
 
Lawmakers generally take care of housekeeping matters on the first day and won't get down to business until after Gov. Matt Mead delivers his annual state of the state address tomorrow morning.
 

Gov. Matt Mead’s energy strategy is beginning to take shape. It is meant to provide a framework for balancing energy production and environmental protection, and should offer more certainty to industry and other stakeholders about energy development in the state.

Mead has devised a series of objectives, including expanding production, investing in more infrastructure, and attracting new industries.

One of the costs that continues to grow in Wyoming’s budget is the cost of Medicaid.  Lawmakers were so distressed that they ordered the Department of Health to look for ways to control those costs. Department of Health Director Tom Forslund has proposed a plan to address the issue.  But first he explains why those costs have gone up.

A former State Representative is urging Governor Matt Mead to support the expansion of Medicaid, because he believes it could save money in the long run.  

Pete Jorgensen is a Democrat from Jackson who used to serve on the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee.   Jorgensen says there is no doubt that expanding Medicaid will increase costs to the state in the short term.  But when you consider that the federal government will pay 100 percent of the costs initially and 90 percent of the costs after that, it’s too good of a deal for the state to pass up.

We are joined now by Mike Fierberg who works for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services for the US Department of Health.  He tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck what seniors can expect from Medicare this year, but we start by asking him how competitive the insurance marketplace will be now that the U-S Supreme Court has approved most of the Affordable Care Act.

Earlier this year the Wyoming legislature told the State Department of Health to study the rising costs of Medicaid and determine if the program can be changed.  

This week the Department will begin a series of meetings to see if members of the public have ideas on how the program can be both more efficient and improved.  Medicaid pays for the health care of low income people and those with disabilities.  Health Department Spokeswoman Kim Deti  says this is not just about trimming the budget.         

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A major concern in the state budget is the growing cost of Medicaid.  Medicaid is  matching federal and state funded health coverage for lower income people, children, those with disabilities and elderly nursing home residents.  State officials say that Medicaid costs take up a large chunk of the state budget and recently have been growing between 30 and 40 percent a year.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that has pushed legislators to undertake a major study to find ways to reduce costs.

A panel of Wyoming legislators has voted to deny Gov. Matt Mead's request to use state money to make up for expired federal stimulus funds that had gone to help support the Medicaid program.

A majority of members of the Joint Appropriations Committee voted against Mead's request to give the Health Department and extra $37 million for Medicaid today.

The committee also voted against Mead's request to put up nearly $7 million to cut waiting lists for people in the state waiting for services for developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries.

The Wyoming Medical Center says it will appeal a ruling that would remove its Medicare “sole community provider” status.  The decision would cost the hospital approximately 8-million dollars in yearly reimbursements from the federal government.

“Sole community provider” status aims to provide hospitals in rural areas money to offset expenses so they can provide full services to smaller populations.

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