Medicaid in the headlines: 7 recent updates

New research found the number of self-pay patients increased as enrollees lost Medicaid coverage, and Georgia lawmakers are mulling a full expansion of the state's Medicaid program. 

Here are seven Medicaid updates Becker's has reported since Nov. 14. 

  1. The Medicaid improper payment rate significantly decreased from 2022 to 2023, CMS reported. The improper payment rate in the program was 8.58%, or $50.3 billion, in fiscal year 2023, down from 15.62% in 2022. 

  1. The percentage of self-pay patients increased for emergency department, hospital and primary care visits starting in April 2023, when states could begin terminating Medicaid coverage, according to a study from Epic Research. 

  1. Half of states are "failing" amid the Medicaid redeterminations process, according to the NAACP. Here are the 25 states that received "F" ratings on NAACP's scorecard.  

  1. Georgia Republican lawmakers heard testimony on possible Medicaid expansion for the first time in a decade. 

  1. Tennessee has extended three managed Medicaid contracts with UnitedHealthcare, BCBS and Elevance's Amerigroup for one additional year. The extension comes after some Republican state legislators, including House Speaker Cameron Sexton, pushed to award Centene a Medicaid contract following the company's failure to win one during the state's previous bidding process in 2021.

  1. At least five states are considering adding coverage of weight loss drugs to their Medicaid program, according to KFF. Medicaid directors in Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Utah and Vermont indicated in their responses to a KFF survey that they are considering adding coverage for some form of weight loss drugs. 

  1. Aetna Better Health of Kentucky CEO Paige Mankovich is zeroing in on improving specific disease states and building health at the community level. Ms. Mankovich sat down with Becker's to discuss the organization's quality strategy and top priorities for 2024.


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