Last Modified: Thursday, July 12, 2012 11:34 AM
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein said he expects to announce by Friday how he’ll divvy up $859 million in cuts across Louisiana’s Medicaid program for the poor, elderly and disabled.
“To us, the clock is ticking. We have 355 days left in this fiscal year. The quicker we move to implementation, the greater the number of days we have to spread the cuts across the year,” Greenstein said Tuesday.
The cut is tied to a congressional reduction in Louisiana’s federal Medicaid financing rate.
Greenstein didn’t offer details about what will be slashed, saying he’s seeking efficiencies in the department and Medicaid program to try to lessen the impact on services and providers.
But hospitals, doctors and other health providers said while they haven’t gotten any hints from the health department, they are bracing for deep cuts that shrink the money they receive for taking care of Medicaid patients and the uninsured, cuts they say could damage services.
The cuts are an 11 percent reduction from Louisiana’s $7.7 billion Medicaid budget that had been planned for the budget year that began July 1.
When the congressional reduction was still being negotiated, Greenstein outlined cuts that would sharply reduce funding to the LSU-run public hospitals and rural hospitals, would eliminate programs that provide hospice care and breast and cervical cancer treatment and would slice the rates paid to nursing homes, doctors and others who take care of Medicaid patients.
Greenstein said that outline was used as “the base to start our thinking.”
Fred Cerise, LSU’s vice president for health affairs, said any cuts to Medicaid funds for the LSU-run public hospitals and clinics will shutter services.
“There’s no question we’re in a spot now where we don’t have any cushion,” Cerise said.
Posted By: Doug On: 7/12/2012
Title: Answer The Questions
Great questions, Dwight and Joseph, but I doubt anyone will have sane answers for you.
Posted By: Dwight On: 7/11/2012
Title: Cancel some consulting contracts, don't close clinics.
In another story today Secretary Kennedy said that the state spends 25 % of state revenue on consulting contracts. That's 7 billion dollars a year. I would think that the state could find the $850 million dollar medicaid short fall by cutting some of those consulting contracts.
Of course it is easier to cut programs for the poor than it is to cut contracts given to politically connected consultants.
Posted By: joseph manuel On: 7/11/2012
Could the public have someone investigate why the cuts are being made on the poor and sick when the health plan has just passed through the highest court.or is there money that the state can put back in the Medicaid program but refuses to and chooses to spend elsewhere