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Medicaid Program

NEWS
September 1, 2011
The Maryland General Assembly mandated that the Medicaid program trim $40 million from its budget during this fiscal year. Rather than making its decisions in a closed room, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene asked its Medicaid Advisory Committee for help in gathering input from a range of stakeholders through public hearings and an open comment period. Guided by a set of "least harm" principles, the committee and the agency sifted through more than 190 proposals and publicly evaluated less than 20 deemed "viable" for savings in Fiscal Year 2012.
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NEWS
August 31, 2011
Gene Ransom, CEO of the Maryland State Medical Society, writes in his article to the Sun ("Don't cut services first," Aug 29) that thousands of vulnerable Marylanders stand to receive inadequate, substandard health care for years to come if the state's Medicaid Advisory Committee and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene are forced to implement a series of radical cost cutting measures for the state's Medicaid program. According to Mr. Ransom, proposals on the desk include eliminating the kidney disease program, charging co-pays for emergency room visits and placing limits on outpatient hospital visits.
NEWS
By Gene M. Ransom III | August 29, 2011
As we all know, it's not necessarily what you do that matters but how you do it. In response to the Maryland General Assembly's mandate to slash an additional $40 million from this year's fiscal budget, the state's Medicaid Advisory Committee (MAC) and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) are being forced to consider a series of radical cost-cutting measures for the state's Medicaid program. Make no mistake: Spending must be curbed. It's how costs are contained that matters.
NEWS
July 29, 2011
Thank you to Congressman Chris Van Hollen for his recent article on the devastating impact of federal cuts to the Medicaid program. ("Medicaid Cuts would hurts us all," July 25.) Maryland's Medicaid program supports seniors in nursing homes, the disabled, as well as pregnant women and children below or near the poverty level. Investments in pregnant women and young children are prevention at its finest and the kind of cost effective health care expenditures that bear the most promise in reducing our country's high health care expenditures, while providing health care for our most vulnerable citizens.
NEWS
July 28, 2011
While Rep. Chris Van Hollen may wish that a deal to fix the federal government's fiscal problems could leave Medicaid untouched, the reality is that if the federal deficit is to be addressed, entitlement programs like Medicaid must be fundamentally reformed ("Debt crisis could hurt Maryland," July 17). Under the current Medicaid system, in which the federal government gives Maryland a dollar-for-dollar match for every Medicaid dollar the state spends, there is little incentive to control costs.
NEWS
July 28, 2011
Contrary to Robert Erlandson's letter ( "Van Hollen shows why it will be so hard to reduce the deficit," July 26), Rep. Chris Van Hollen's op-ed ("Medicaid cuts would hurt us all," July 25) correctly pointed out the consequences of cutting Medicaid. As Rep. Van Hollen wrote, whenever uninsured people go to the hospital and get care they cannot afford, we all pay for that with increase premiums that are used to cover uncompensated hospital costs. According to Families USA, about $1,000 of each of our health insurance premiums go every year to cover the health care costs of the uninsured.
NEWS
By Christopher Van Hollen Jr | July 25, 2011
Congress is engaged in an ongoing debate on proposals to reduce the deficit. There is no question we need get our fiscal house in order and put our nation on the path to long-term fiscal stability - the question is how. First, we must ensure that we do no harm to our still fragile economy - anything that would put American jobs at risk is unacceptable. Second, we must find a balanced approach that does not put undue burdens on our seniors and most vulnerable or slash critical investments in education, infrastructure and innovation.
NEWS
May 11, 2011
Reader Suzanne R. Schlattman ("Ryan budget would hurt Maryland," May 9) writes, "we here in Maryland … know far better" how to run the state's Medicaid program. I couldn't agree more. So why does she oppose the reforms that passed the U.S. House, which would give Maryland officials unprecedented flexibility to run their program? Could it be because those reforms would also require Marylanders to pay for more of their own bright ideas? Michael F. Cannon, Washington The writer is director of health policy studies for the Cato Institute.
NEWS
December 16, 2010
In the December 16 article "O'Malley provides grim preview of budget," I was surprised to read this: "While the governor has been tight-lipped about potential areas for cuts, he said Wednesday that he might look at programs that had been spared in previous budgets. Those could include education and health care. " Health care spared? No. In fact, health care in Maryland has been cut drastically. The state has funded the rapid expansion of its Medicaid program almost totally on the backs of providers, including hospitals.
NEWS
July 27, 2010
As discouraging as government finances — both in Annapolis and Washington — have been of late, there is some good news on the horizon. Estimates released last week by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene suggest the state will collect about $20 million more from scofflaws attempting to defraud the Medicaid program. That may not solve the state's projected $1 billion-plus projected budget deficit in fiscal 2012, but it certainly doesn't hurt. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, the health department recovered about $26.5 million as a result of Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse investigations, which was also higher than in previous years.
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