GBPI’s FY 2013 Budget Analysis: Community Health underscored issues with the pending Medicaid redesign that we should keep in mind. People who rely on Medicaid and PeachCare could face another challenge when the state rolls out its plan to “redesign” the two programs. Department officials have indicated that generating budgetary savings is a primary goal of the redesign work; however, Georgia’s Medicaid program is already one of the lowest-spending programs in the country. In 2009, for example, the state’s per-enrollee Medicaid spending ranked as the second-lowest in the U.S.
Changes to Georgia’s Medicaid program should focus primarily on adjustments that will increase access to high-quality health care services and lead to better health outcomes for Medicaid and PeachCare enrollees. Right now, too many Georgians with disabilities are on waiting lists for community-based services, and many enrollees in rural areas have limited access to primary care and specialty doctors. Addressing these and other issues could require increased state resources in the short-term.
Based on preliminary documents about the redesign, the state may rely more heavily on private managed-care companies to administer Medicaid and PeachCare. As the state finalizes its redesign proposal, the changes to the program should be thoroughly vetted by stakeholders such as patients, advocates, and the health care provider community before the state moves forward with a Request for Proposals from private managed-care companies.
For more on Georgia’s budget priorities for community health, read FY2013 Budget Analysis: Community Health.