COMMISSION DISCUSSION -- MEDICAID OVERVIEW
INTERIM COMMISSION TO STUDY FISCAL STABILITY
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10:17 AM -- Medicaid Overview
John Bartholomew provided an overview of Medicaid's origins. He testified that in FY 2008-09 the total budget was approximately $3.8 billion. Of that amount, the state's General Fund provided $1.5 billion, federal funds accounted for $1.8 billion, and $0.4 billion was supplied from cash funds. There are other state revenue sources as well. In FY 2009-10 there was a 3.5 percent cut to providers in reimbursement rates.
Mr. Bartholomew continued by reviewing caseloads for Medicaid, Child Health Plan Plus, and Medicaid.
Dr. Sandeep Wadhwa testified concerning the health status of Coloradoans and the health status of the Medicaid population in the state, noting that while the overall population appears very healthy, the poor population is very unhealthy. Dr. Sandeep also discussed obesity trends that span across the country, including Colorado. Obesity is particularly prevalent among the poorest populations.
Dr. Sandeep continued that Medicaid clients disproportionately engage in unhealthy behaviors such as smoking. Additionally, amount the poorest populations, Colorado's rates of mental health issues, such as adolescent depression, are among the highest in the country.
Dr. Sandeep laid out a vision for reform that can improve health outcomes in the state, both for the Medicaid population and for the overall population. These reforms include enhancing enrollment structures to insure more clients, appropriately defining benefits, establishing managed care models and holding providers accountable for good health status, better evaluation of overall health outcomes, and creating support systems for reimbursements and provider services. These reforms could transform the cost-effectiveness of our public insurance programs and improve overall client health, functioning, and self-sufficiency. Dr. Sandeep added that reducing readmission rates and emergency room visits, lowering child and adolescent obesity, and reducing adult tobacco use will also have positive impacts on our health care system. He indicated that the department has several current programs and initiatives to address these challenges.