Medicaid managed care not equal to commercial plans

Ideally, Medicaid beneficiaries who enroll in a managed care plan would get the same care as anyone in a commercial plan. Unfortunately, however, that's not how it actually works today, according to a new study. The research, which appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that standard commercial health plans performed substantially better on nearly all of 11 quality indicators. For example, 77.2 percent of commercial health plan beneficiaries got appropriate postpartum care, while only 52.7 percent of Medicaid managed care patients did. 

This study suggests that despite great hopes to the contrary, managed care probably isn't the ticket for improving care for the Medicaid population, researchers said. At minimum, resources may need to be configured a different way to address these patients' needs, according to Dr. Bruce Landon, associate professor of health care policy and medicine at Harvard Medical School, who served as lead author of the study.

To learn more about the study:
- read this HealthDay News article

Related Articles:
Illinois MDs upset over a proposal to force state's Medicaid patients into HMOs. Report
CT keeps disclosure pressure on Medicaid HMOs. Report