Idaho May Tinker With Medicaid Costs

Thursday, 03 Mar 2011 11:37 AM

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Idaho lawmakers proposed legislation to change Medicaid in the state to control costs even as the federal government pushes more people onto the program, the Times-News in Twin Falls reported Thursday.

The lawmakers want to tighten the eligibility requirements, increase the program’s accountability, revamp how doctors and other health care providers are paid and move away from a fee-for-service model.

A bill introduced Wednesday would make those changes, and could save about $39.1 million in the next fiscal year. The changes would help the state bridge its gaping budget gap.

idaho, medicaid, cost, cuts“As the saying goes, if handed two lemons, make lemonade,” said Rep. Janice McGeachin, an Idaho Falls Republican who chairs the House Health and Welfare Committee.

Idaho serves about 210,000 people each month through its Medicaid program. The federal government pays three-quarters of the cost, while the state picks up on the tab on the rest.

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