Medicaid costs, rural health care among top issues facing Richardson

With Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson set to resign his seat in the legislature and become the new director of MO HealthNet on Thursday, another state health official says Richardson will need to address the sustainability of Missouri’s Medicaid program and the condition of rural health care in the state.

Steve Corsi, director of the Missouri Department of Social Services, said Richardson will be tasked with addressing the rising costs of Medicaid, the health insurance program for low-income individuals and families.

After he was announced as the new MO HealthNet director, Richardson said that he would focus not on expanding Medicaid eligibility, but on improving health outcomes to rein in costs.

However, some Medicaid expansion supporters point to lack of Medicaid access as a contributor to difficulties for the state’s rural hospitals. Four hospitals in rural Missouri have closed in the last five years, and Corsi said the state of rural health care will be a top issue for Richardson.

Read more: Missourinet

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