Former HHS Secretary Recommends Medicaid Reforms
Former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson on Friday plans to release a "white paper" in which he recommends that the responsibility for long-term care of elderly Medicaid beneficiaries shift from joint state and federal funding to the federal government, the Washington Post reports. Thompson, who will speak to the National Governors Association on Saturday in Charleston, S.C., recommends that states focus on acute care for Medicaid beneficiaries younger than 65.
In addition, Thompson recommends that Medicaid begin to use electronic health records and other technologies to improve case management and health information collection. He recommends that Medicaid beneficiaries receive education on health literacy and disease prevention. According to Thompson, the recommendations would result in long-term savings that states could use to provide health insurance for more uninsured residents, in some cases through subsidies for private coverage.
You want to set up almost a competitive environment where the states will strive to improve upon the healthfulness of their populations, and that will result in less costs for the states at the acute level," Thompson said, adding, "And as these people get older and they move over into the federal responsibility, they will be less expensive for the federal side as well, because you're inheriting a healthier population" (Lee, Washington Post, 8/3).