Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 11:04 am
Nearly $52 million in state cuts to Medicaid services go into effect Friday, Feb. 1. The reductions are part of the Dept. of Health and Hospitals’ response to a mid-year shortfall in Louisiana’s general fund.
The cuts include the elimination of dental benefits for pregnant women and a healthy parenting program for first-time mothers who qualify for Medicaid. Additionally, the rate paid to hospitals and physicians for non-primary care services through Medicaid will be dropped by 1 percent.
Gov. Bobby Jindal says he's confident LSU's network of public hospitals and clinics will protect health care services, despite cuts that strip a quarter of the system's funding.
Lawmakers have said they don't understand how the university-run health care system can shrink its budget by $329 million this year without shutting facilities that take care of the poor and uninsured.
But Jindal on Tuesday told reporters that "LSU is well on their way to presenting a plan that's going to protect critical services."
Moody's Investors Service says Louisiana's loss of as much as $859 million in Medicaid financing is a "credit negative" for the state.
The notation from the bond-rating agency does not yet affect the state government bond rating — currently high investment grade and stable — but denotes for investors a significant change in the state's balance sheet.
The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/Q4abRS) the cut is tied to a congressional reduction in Louisiana's federal Medicaid financing rate.
BATON ROUGE — Officials at Louisiana's health department are looking for ways to cut $859 million from the state's Medicaid program for the poor and uninsured. It would strip 11 percent of the funding for health services.