State Delays Medicaid Managed Care Oversight Change For Patients With Chronic Conditions

Oct 3, 2014

DHHS Commissioner Nick Toumpas
Credit NHPR

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said the state will wait until April before it puts Medicaid patients with chronic conditions under the oversight of two managed care companies. In fact the state has not announced when that transition will happen.

New Hampshire is postponing a crucial phase of Medicaid managed care. The delay follows concerns raised by advocates of patients with complicated health conditions.

The state had planned to put Medicaid patients with chronic conditions under the oversight of two managed care companies in January. The state will now delay that transition.

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas made the announcement earlier this week. He says the delay gives the state more time to ensure the move to managed care happens the right way, the first time.

Cindy Robertson, staff attorney with the Disability Rights Center, says if the delay ensures the elderly and adults with disabilities don’t have to endure long waits for prescriptions or physical therapy, all the better.

"It’s important especially for this vulnerable population that there be a smooth and seamless transition into managed care so that they do not ever lose the services that they so greatly depend on day to day," says Robertson.

The state projected managed care would squeeze $32 million in savings from Medicaid in the first two years. But the rollout has been delayed twice now, so there’s no way to know if New Hampshire is on track to meet that goal.