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Medicaid overhaul could save Missouri billions, report says

Medicaid overhaul could save Missouri billions, report says

February 12th, 2019 by Associated Press in Missouri News

A new study says Missouri could save up to $1 billion a year within the next four years if it overhauls the state's Medicaid health insurance program.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported a draft of the report does not recommend tightening eligibility rules for Medicaid. State lawmakers are separately considering a plan to require Medicaid recipients who are able to work.

The 116-page report compiled by a consulting company for $2.7 million says the state could alter reimbursement rates for hospitals, doctors and nursing homes, as well as moving more people to home-care services and better manage prescription drug costs, according to the Post-Dispatch.

The study began last year after former Gov. Eric Greitens pushed to find ways to control Medicaid's escalating costs.

The Post-Dispatch obtained the draft report compiled by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co, which was among five bidders for the contract. Three of those companies had bid a lesser amount. Awarding the bid to McKinsey & Co. raised eyebrows because Greitens' chief operating officer, Drew Erdmann, had worked for the consulting company before taking on his role in state government, according to the newspaper.

In June, Gov. Mike Parson dismissed calls that the bidding had been "rigged." He said Monday the state owes it to residents to find ways to maximize the money spent on Medicaid.

"Ensuring that each and every Missourian has access to the quality health care they deserve is crucial to improving Missouri's workforce and infrastructure. Missouri's Medicaid program serves over 900,000 Missourians, involves three departments and costs more than $10 billion a year," Parson told the Post-Dispatch.