Coalitions call on Missouri governor to halt managed care expansion

Advocacy groups — including Empower Missouri, Metropolitan Congregations United and the Service Employees International Union — want Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to stop a proposed managed care expansion to the state's poor, the St. Louis Dispatch-Post reported.

A managed care system allows for-profit companies to manage health plans for Medicaid recipients, selecting in-network physicians and hospitals to lower costs. Fifty-four of Missouri's 114 counties have offered managed care for 20 years, while the rest of the state used a fee-for-service healthcare model, according to the report.

The coalitions penned a letter to Gov. Nixon July 11 expressing concerns the statewide expansion would not improve care for Medicaid recipients and may be illegal. Group members also criticized the state for not offering public hearings for the policy change and argued savings from switching to managed care in the past were less than predicted.

Missouri's 2015 budget included the plan to move every child or parent on Medicaid to a managed care plan, excluding recipients who are elderly, blind or disabled. The initiative was slated to begin June 1; however, the Department of Social Services extended the target date to May 2017, according to the St. Louis Dispatch-Post.

The state is currently evaluating bids from companies and contracts will be announced by October, according to the report. Chosen companies will develop provider networks and begin enrollment by April 2017.

More articles about payer issues:
Insurance premium hikes put pressure on ACA
Anthem BCBS expands Medicaid coverage for 6 Wisconsin counties
Humana stock falls 18% amid Aetna acquisition doubts

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