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KFF report finds Medicaid spending growth slows

Posted on October 25, 2012 | No Comments

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According to a survey released this morning by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the slowly improving economy helped Medicaid spending growth slow to one of its lowest rates in the last fiscal year (FY). The survey found that total Medicaid spending across states increased only 2 percent in fiscal year 2012. The relatively slow spending and enrollment growth are expected to continue in FY 2013.

Cost pressure and cost containment were dominant themes in the slowed spending growth, but states were also able to consider program changes, payment and delivery system reforms and continue efforts to re-orient long-term care programs to community-based care models. Eligibility rules for Medicaid remained stable due to the maintenance of eligibility (MOE) protections under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and a number of states adopted targeted eligibility expansions or simplified enrollment procedures.

States are also preparing for the new role for Medicaid in the implementation of the ACA. Under the June 2012 Supreme Court ruling, state policy makers can decide whether and when to implement the Medicaid expansion.

The report’s findings are drawn from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (KCMU) and Health Management Associates (HMA) budget survey of Medicaid officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey collects data regarding trends in Medicaid spending, enrollment and policy initiatives.

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