The House appropriations committee overseeing Medicaid heard a presentation from leaders at the State Division of Medical Assistance (DMA) about a proposed $318 million reduction in the base budget approved in the 2015 budget process.
DMA leaders say that the reduced figure will adequately fund the state health systems and even fund expansions in some care areas and administrative increases.
“These recommended adjustments do include the expansion of critical services and funding for the administration,” Dave Richards, Deputy Secretary for Medical Assistance at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), said.
“The rebase [budget reduction] request is a pretty significant reduction in rebase from last year, $318 million. I’ll let you know that 60 percent of the reduction is due to lower than anticipated enrollment and a favorable federal match for North Carolina. Our drug spending, drug rebates and other changes account for the balance of the reduction and the most important thing is we believe the budget we are putting forward will fund Medicaid through 2017.”
The proposed budget includes a $3 million expansion of the state’s Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults (CAP/DA), which offers support for Alzheimer’s patients in the state. It also adds $2.6 million for individuals born with developmental disabilities by adding 250 slots to the NC Innovations Waiver program to reduce backlog on the system.
“The need for increased CAP/DA slots for Alzheimer’s patients is in keeping with the governor’s commitment to supporting those with the most significant needs,” Richards said. “The additional 250 slots for developmental disabilities will reduce waiting lists and support citizens with the most need.”
The proposal also includes $2 million to train and retain workers in DMA working on the state’s Medicaid program.
The state hopes to prevent interruptions to DMA operations during the transition to changing Medicaid over to a managed care system.
The budget includes $2.1 million for Medicaid staffing and $1 million for reform costs associated with transferring Medicaid to the Division of Health Benefits.
Gov. Pat McCrory has named reforms at DHHS as one of his priorities in the new budget, naming five goals to be addressed in the DHHS budget. To find out more, click here.