Monday, June 12, 2006

West Virginia Medicaid: States' Changes Reshape Medicaid

West Virginia Department of Health & Human Services, Bureau of Medical Services (West Virginia Medicaid) gets a mention in today's Washington Post, "States' Changes Reshape Medicaid," for taking the lead on implementing steps to transform the traditional role ofMedicaid. West Virginia's efforts focus on making the Medicaid recipient more responsible for their care and treatment and creating incentives for becoming healthier, including having preventative screenings, adherence to health improvement programs, not missing appointments and taking prescribed medications. Failure to follow the redesigned guidelines will make the Medicaid recipient eligible for less benefits.

West Virginia Medicaid Redesign states the following as a guiding principal:

The State of West Virginia, like all the other states, has experienced unsustainable growth in Medicaid program cost. Costs continue to grow at a rate that exceeds state revenue growth. In order to lower out health care costs and improve the health of all our citizens, West Virginia is drafting a Comprehensive Medicaid Redesign Proposal with the goals of:
  • Streamlining Administration
  • Tailoring services to meet the needs of enrolled populations
  • Coordinating care, especially for those with chronic conditions; and
  • Providing members with the opportunity and incentives to maintain and improve their health
According to the article, many states are watching the West Virginia initiative starting July 1 to require Medicaid patients to sign a members agreement promising that they will keep appointments, take prescribed medications and focus more attention on preventative medicine for themselves and their family rather than overusing hospital emergency rooms.

For more information with details of the West Virginia Medicaid Redesign check out the following links on the West Virginia Medicaid website:

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