An unexpected surge in Medicaid enrollments during the past six months is putting pressure on the state’s budget.
Medicaid has seen its enrollment jump by roughly 11,000 people since January 1. State officials attribute this to two main things: under the Affordable Care Act, there’s a streamlined application process, and that increased publicity surrounding the law brought out more applicants.
Health and Human Service Commissioner Nick Toumpas says it’s more than they expected, but that nearly 70% of the new sign-ups are children.
The transition of New Hampshire's Medicaid program to what’s called ‘managed care’ was supposed to be phased in over three years.
First, private companies would take over administration of medical care for more than 100,000 recipients. In year two, services for people with developmental disabilities, including supports such as 24-hour aides and housing would switch over. And then, lastly, newly eligible recipients through Medicaid expansion would get benefits arranged through the managed care companies.
It’s been a little more than 100 days since the state of New Hampshire dramatically re-shaped its biggest program. On December 1st, traditional Medicaid became Medicaid Managed Care, shifting administration of the health program into the hands of private companies in the hopes of saving $15 million a year.
Perhaps the biggest change to the program for recipients revolves around something called prior authorizations.
You would think that the commissioner of the state’s largest agency has one of the biggest to-do lists of the year, and for Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas, you’re probably right. A new year brings new challenges for Toumpas: with Medicaid, there’s the implementation of its managed care program, as well as the continuing debate over its expansion.
Whether it’s the debate over expanding Medicaid or the struggle to improve mental health services, his department has seen its share of challenges lately, but did receive a bit of a boost in the last budget. We’ll talk with the commissioner about all this, and controversy over the state’s Medicaid managed care plan.
- Nick Toumpas - Commissioner for the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
A group of developmentally disabled residents is taking the state to court over a proposed plan to transition coordination of their treatment to private companies.
The complaint was filed just a day after the Department of Health and Human Services announced the state will officially launch Medicaid Managed Care on December 1st. Under the managed care model, three companies will effectively take over administration and coordination of medical services for Medicaid recipients.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock is agreeing to join the Medicaid managed care program. The state's largest health care system had been a key hold out in the new effort.
A transition from traditional Medicaid to so-called managed care is already a year behind schedule, costing the state an estimated $15 million in expected savings. One problem has been a lack of participation from hospitals. They’ve voiced concerned that the arrangement could pay them less for treating Medicaid patients.
News Updateat 2:54 p.m. Wed. May 9: The Executive Council has passed a $2.3 billion contract that will overhaul the state’s Medicaid program. Medicaid Managed care could significantly shake up service for some 140,000 N.H. residents. HHS officials believe this reform is critical. More details to follow on this evening's All Things Considered.
State and Managed Care company officials met today with the executive council to discuss the contract that would change the state’s Medicaid Program. The councilors have serious concerns, and many questions.
The $2.2 billion dollar proposed contract is the biggest in the history of the state. Supporters say Managed Medicaid would streamline services for the some 130,000 people in the program. Health-care providers worry the new contract may hurt their patients and their business.