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Officials get earful at Medicaid forum

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Bruce Greenstein, Secretary, Department of Health and Hospitals, addresses medical professionals during a "Making Medicaid Better" forum Wednesday at the Louisiana Technical College (Douglas Collier/The Times)

By Melody Brumble

State health officials fielded complaints and concerns Wednesday during a Shreveport forum about plans to move to managed care for Medicaid recipients.

The proposal calls for the state to contract with health insurance companies, which would set up networks of doctors and other health care providers for patients enrolled in a plan. Louisiana Health and Hospitals Department Secretary Bruce Greenstein is promoting the changes as a way to save money and improve the health of babies and people with chronic illnesses.

However, Dr. John Vanchiere, a Shreveport pediatrician, questioned whether the state will save money, because adults with higher medical costs, such as those in nursing homes, will be excluded from the new networks.

“We’re moving the least costly and generally the most healthy into coordinated care,” Vanchiere said, referring to children, who account for about 70 percent of the state’s Medicaid patients.

He expressed concern about demands from competing providers and warned that it could lead to less coordinated care.

Thirteen health insurers or management companies have expressed interest in participating. Greenstein said the state will request proposals — a change from previous plans — to settle on a relative handful. He said two to four companies could offer plans in each region of the state.

Nearly 99,000 northwest Louisiana residents will be required to enroll in a managed care plan. An estimated 833,000 people will be required to enroll statewide. State officials project 600,000 more residents will be eligible for Medicaid in 2014 if federal health reform efforts continue.


Written by demon53

December 9, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Real Views, william broussard. william broussard said: Officials get earful at Medicaid forum: […]

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