Revenue Cycle

Medicaid beneficiary fluctuations are leading to more costs

Patient Access Weekly Advisor, July 22, 2009

Medicaid's "cumbersome" policies often lead to patients not getting or filling their prescriptions, receiving important diagnostic tests, or managing their chronic disease, which will lead to more costs down the road, according to a new report released by the Association for Community Affiliated Plans.

The Medicaid system, which varies by state, requires beneficiaries to show proof more than once a year that they and their children are still eligible for the public program. This leads to many falling off the rolls, which is a cycle that interrupts their continuity of care and jeopardizes their health.

Additionally, with so many people "churning," which means dropping out and back in to the Medicaid rolls every few months, the federal goal of measuring the quality of the patient care has become extremely problematic if not impossible, according to the group, which represents 42 nonprofit safety-net health plans serving six million beneficiaries in 23 states.

Read the full story by HealthLeaders Media's Cheryl Clark.

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