• Next steps for Massachusetts

    From today’s Boston Globe:

    Payments to hospitals and other health care providers would be slashed and low-income patients served by Medicaid would have to pay higher copayments under the spending plan Governor Deval Patrick proposed yesterday for the next budget year.

    But the biggest savings in the $10 billion program that serves 1.2 million residents would come from revising and rebidding Medicaid contracts to encourage health care providers to work together to drive down costs. […]

    But Patrick said the revamping of Medicaid contracts was not part of the more sweeping legislative proposal he expects to unveil this spring that would transform the way all hospitals and doctors are paid, by giving them a predetermined, per-patient annual fee that would cover all of a patient’s care.

    But greater coordination of care through new contracts could help lay the groundwork for this new “global payment’’ system. […]

    The Massachusetts Hospital Association released a statement that described the $150 million in rate cuts for hospitals and other providers as a “troubling’’ trend. “This cost shift helps the state budget, but it is devastating to hospital budgets and is a contributing factor to rising commercial insurance premiums,’’ the association said.

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    • With all the press MCO’s are getting to pursue lines of Mcaid business to shore up decrease in Mcare and large group revenues, one wonders where the profits are in that block of biz. I’ve noticed how outlets like WSJ are trumping managed medicaid as the next “savior” for the traded companies.

      Can the big boys come in, without stealthily cherry picking and lemon dropping–assuming risk corridors and adjustment are in place–which has costs of course, and make an honest attempt at overseeing this neglected population (relatively speaking). I just dont get it.

      I have a number of friends in MCO world, and some of them tell me that the dirty little secret is this population has special language, transportation, cognitive, and cultural needs they dont have a clue on, and it is not a skill set they want to acquire.

      Emperors new clothes or real profits to be made? I dont have a clue.

      Brad