Day 2 of the Medicaid Innovations 2014 event included presentations that focused on the future of Medicaid; the role of risk-based managed care in Medicaid; removing fraud, waste, and misuse from the program; and similar topics geared toward improving care and controlling costs. It’s clear that more states are integrating managed care innovations across state agencies to better coordinate and improve population health. Kentucky and Rhode Island are two states doing so. Some of the initiatives that states are incorporating are the use of all-payer health information databases and umbrella managed care contracts to effectively coordinate and manage care for specific populations such as the frail elderly and people with disabilities. Additionally, some states are integrating information from the Choosing Wisely campaign to inform both physician and patient decisions, especially with regard to radiology utilization. Choosing Wisely is a national initiative that aims to identify unnecessary or overused medical tests and procedures. We’ve written about Choosing Wisely before on this blog and applaud its mission to help patients and physicians choose medical care based on sound evidence.
How the Medicaid program will evolve over the next decade is anyone’s guess. Will fee-for-service (FFS) plans still be around 10 years from now? Will Medicaid program funding be block granted to each state or federalized to be more like Medicare? These are just a few of the questions posed by Wednesday’s speakers. Nevertheless, finding new strategies to reduce healthcare costs while ensuring that Medicaid recipients receive the most appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to meet their needs will be an ongoing challenge.