Florida has managed this slice of Medicaid well

Health care for the poor consumes a big chunk of the state budget. Managed care companies promise less waste and fraud — an understandable concept when providers falsify bills and parents use emergency rooms to treat sniffling children.

“Medicaid is irretrievably broken and we need to start over,” says state Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, who is spearheading Medicaid reform. “We need to insert market forces into the process.”But swept along in this broad transformation is one slice of Medicaid that is remarkably free of waste and fraud. It has trounced managed care for years in side-by-side cost comparisons.

Nevertheless, the Legislature intends to eliminate these efficient programs — a move that could easily cost Florida hundreds of millions of dollars.At stake is long-term care for old and disabled people too frail to live alone. It currently costs a little over $3 billion or about one-sixth of Medicaid’s budget.Negron and others think private managed care can save money by diverting people from nursing homes into assisted living or home care with aides.

– The Tampa Bay Times

Read the full article here.