State mulls Medicaid CFO, actuary to manage costs

Alabama is considering hiring a chief financial officer and actuary to oversee its Medicaid program, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.

The push to hire such program overseers comes as Alabama tries to figure out ways to cut costs for Medicaid, which runs more than $5 billion a year and consumes about a third of the state's budget, according to the article. Lawmakers currently are looking into installing a managed care plan, but there are concerns about how it might be operated, the Advertiser reported.

Those concerns were expressed by Don Williamson, Alabama's state health officer, to a joint legislative committee overseeing Medicaid.

"One of the things you want to do is see the cost savings you're getting out of the networks, and the cost savings you're getting out of commercial care, and see if you are getting adequate savings with the (provider networks), or if you have to bring in managed care and let them compete," Williamson said, noted the article.

Many states have transitioned over to Medicaid managed care, but Williamson said it might not be a good fit for Alabama, according to the Advertiser.

The state's entire Medicaid program is suffering budget pressures. Alabama will have to put up at least $600 million from its general fund in order to leverage enough federal funds to provide a minimally functioning program, The Birmingham News reported.

For more:
- here' the Advertiser article
- read the article