Missouri Medicaid committee addresses likely looming cuts

The Missouri Medicaid Oversight Committee continues to grapple with trying to keep increasing costs under control in a state with limited resources.

The 18-member panel, charged with evaluating Medicaid and its implementation in Missouri, met Tuesday in Jefferson City.

Timothy McBride, the committee chairman and a Washington University health economist, noted that state revenue gains this year of $300 million are equal to Medicaid cost increases.

McBride said that a cut to the federal health care program is most likely coming. “Health care costs are just going up at a faster rate than the economy is,” he said. “And our enrollment is growing, and our aged population is growing. These are just dynamics that our state is going to have to deal with.”

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed a budget for the current fiscal year that included about $50 million in cuts to Medicaid, covered mostly be reimbursement reductions to providers and the elimination of vacant administrative jobs.

Jennifer Tidball, acting director of Medicaid in Missouri and deputy director for the Department of Social Services, said Medicaid expenditures account for a third of the state’s general revenue budget of $9.4 billion. She said the committee is considering numerous plans from outside groups to address soaring costs before moving forward.

Read more: Missourinet

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