State Highlights: N.M. Officials Seek Less Medicaid Money Next Year

A selection of health policy stories from Virginia, New Mexico, Florida, Missouri and California.

The Associated Press: Medicaid Agency Seeks Less Money In NM Next Year
The agency managing New Mexico's largest health care program is asking for less -- not more -- state money to operate in the upcoming budget year. It's the first time in more than a decade the Human Services Department isn't seeking an increase in state aid for Medicaid, which provides health care for a fourth of New Mexico's population (Massey, 9/24).

The Washington Post: Inova's Contract With Kaiser Permanente To Expire
Two of the largest players in Northern Virginia's health industry are parting ways. Inova Health System said Tuesday that its contract with Kaiser Permanente will not be renewed when it expires Oct. 1, a break that could be a sign of what is to come as pressure to contain medical costs forces companies to rethink their relationships (Halzack, 9/24).

Health News Florida: 2 Public Co.'s Win In FL Medicaid
Sunshine State Health Plan, a subsidiary of Centene Corp., won more contracts than any other company in the bidding for a slice of the Florida Medicaid program as it shifts its entire enrollee population into managed-care plans. Sunshine State won the right to compete in nine of 11 districts in the state. Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans scored in seven (Gentry, 9/24).

St. Louis Beacon: County Health Department Official Set Up Bogus Firm, Performed Services And Paid Himself
A spokeswoman for St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley said the county will pursue every avenue -- including the courts -- to recover county money that may have been embezzled by a top official in the county Health Department. As the investigation came close to him, he killed himself (Mannies, 9/24).

California Healthline: How California's Dual-Eligibles Project Compares With Five Other States' Plans
Officials in six states designing programs to coordinate benefits and services for people who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid are finding one of the most difficult issues to resolve is creating an integrated appeals process. That's the summary finding of a new analysis released last week by the National Senior Citizens Law Center, a not-for-profit senior advocacy and research group (Gorn, 9/24).

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