Missouri Medicaid – Gov. Parson Talks Expansion And Fraud

Missouri State Capitol building.

Missouri State Capitol building.

This past week Missouri Governor Mike Parson spent the past week working to improve Missouri’s healthcare programs. Beginning Tuesday, December 4th, Governor parson has been traveling the state to meet with other officials and discuss problems in Missouri’s health care system. These problems include, but aren’t limited to, painkiller abuse, cost of health insurance, and the closing of multiple rural hospitals.

Medicaid Expansions?

This sudden focus on Missouri’s health care stems partly from the call to expand Medicaid in Missouri. Missouri was one of the states that did not expand Medicaid when the Affordable Care Act was put into place. [1] Now, studies seem to show that states that did not expand Medicaid are having problems with their rural hospitals.

Governor Parson is not advocating for Medicaid expansion. Instead, along with other administration officials, including Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and the state’s new Medicaid director and former House Speaker, Todd Richardson are working together to improve health care in rural areas.

By providing incentives to future doctors to work in rural areas, officials think that that will decrease the number of hospitals closing in rural areas.

How Much Medicaid Fraud is too Much?

Over 220,000 were committing assorted fraud in Illinois’ Medicaid program in 2013. This was found out after Illinois state officials hired a private contractor to review the Medicaid system.

With results like that, it isn’t very surprising to find out that Missouri has hired their contractor to review its Medicaid system. Missouri is currently in a $2.7 million contract with McKinsey & Co. to review fraud in they system. [2] Missouri Medicaid currently serves about one million citizens. [3]

“Safeguarding the integrity of the Missouri Medicaid program (MO HealthNet) is vital to the state of Missouri,” said Governor Parson [4]

Right now results from the investigation on Medicaid fraud could be revealed in January 2019. With almost one-third of Missouri’s budget going to Medicaid program, it’s important to minimize fraud as well as abuse.


Notes:

  1. ^Missouri and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion: eligibility, enrollment and benefits.” healthinsurance.org, 15 Apr. 2018, www.healthinsurance.org/missouri-medicaid. (go back↩)
  2. ^Erickson, Kurt. “From the opioid crisis to rural hospitals, health care will be focus of Missouri governor this week.” stltoday.com, 5 Dec. 2018, www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/from-the-opioid-crisis-to-rural-hospitals-health-care-will/article_9333d48d-1c40-5596-86f1-ca343210f4bd.html. (go back↩)
  3. ^http://files.kff.org/attachment/fact-sheet-medicaid-state-MO (go back↩)
  4. ^“Governor Parson Concludes Healthcare Week by Addressing Ways to Improve Missouri Medicaid Program’s Integrity | Governor Michael L. Parson.” 7 Dec. 2018, governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-parson-concludes-healthcare-week-addressing-ways-improve-missouri. (go back↩)

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