Former CMS official: Overhauling Medicaid will impact Medicare beneficiaries — 6 notes

Written by Mary Rechtoris | April 11, 2017 | Print  |

Former Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office Director Melanie Bella said if officials overhaul the Medicaid program, this move will greatly impact Medicare beneficiaries. Ms. Bella discussed an overhaul's impact during a briefing that National Coalition on Health Care, a nonpartisan organization, hosted on April 10, 2017, according to MedPage Today.

Here are six notes:

1. Ms. Bella cited 2014 Kaiser Family Foundation data, saying almost 11 million Medicare beneficiaries also use Medicaid services.

2. As the Medicaid program currently operates, the federal government covers between 50 percent and 75 percent of Medicaid spending, based on a state's per capita income relative to the national average. Thus, poorer states receive more funds.

3. If officials implemented a per-capita cap on Medicaid spending, states would receive funding based on the number of enrollees multiplied by the state's average cost per person during a pre-determined year. Then, officials would multiply this figure by a "trending factor."

4. Those in favor of this payment formula say they provide states more flexibility, lower costs and boost budget predictability.

5. Ms. Bella said this move would prove inefficient because the trending factor will likely not keep pace with healthcare cost growth. She also said the per-capita cap formula does not adjust for risk.

6. Ms. Bella said implementing a per-capita cap on Medicaid would make it challenging for officials to sufficiently fund these services and states will bear the brunt of this downfall in less funding.

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