Medicaid faces state, federal tensions

The National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) is asking the federal government to reduce bureaucracy and focus more on healthcare outcomes, reports Stateline Health News.

A Nov. 9 report issued by NAMD concluded that "much of the potential gain from states serving as the laboratories of experimentation has been lost. The transaction costs of innovation in Medicaid have simply been too high and the dissemination of best practices and successful innovations has been too slow."

Officials such as Andrew Allison, who runs the Medicaid program in Kansas, noted that many of his colleagues are offended by the fact that any changes in a state's Medicaid program almost always requires federal approval and months, if not years, of mandatory data reporting,notes Stateline. He added that keeping such a system in place makes no sense given the huge expansion of the Medicaid program proposed under the Affordable Care Act.

As an alternative, the report suggests greater empowerment of the recently created Medicare and Medicaid Federal Coordinated Care Office, which currently works with states to improve care for enrollees who are qualified for both the Medicaid and Medicae programs.

To learn more:
- read the Stateline News article
- check out the NAMD report