Medicaid

Ohio is closer to replacing an outdated system that's known for rejecting eligible people from the Medicaid program.

Officials said Wednesday the state will contract with Accenture LLC for a new system that will help determine eligibility for programs across Ohio's health and human services agencies.

The announcement comes as the governor wants to expand the federal-state Medicaid program to cover more low-income people.

- TAX CUTS: Reduces small business taxes by 50 percent, cuts state income tax by 20 percent over three years, and decreases sales tax from 5.5 percent to 5 percent.

Ohio is prepared to move forward with certain Medicaid contracts after an appellate court ruled in the state's favor in a lawsuit that had blocked officials from signing the agreements.

Amerigroup Corp. had sued the state, claiming the contract application process was flawed. The insurer was not among the top scorers.

The contract winners will provide health care services to 1.6 million Ohioans on Medicaid. The contracts provide billions in government work to the winning companies.

A group of governors from both major political parties met with President Obama and other White House officials today, to talk about the impact the so-called “fiscal cliff” could have on states. And as Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, it’s something the governor and advocates from across the political spectrum have been worried about as well.

A new national report says expanding Medicaid eligibility in Ohio under the Affordable Care Act would reduce the number of uninsured residents by half.

It would also cost the state an additional $3.1 billion in the next decade.

The Dayton Daily News says the numbers come from a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a Washington-based nonpartisan health care policy research organization.

The plan is to make Ohio Medicaid a cabinet-level agency starting halfway through the next two year budget cycle on July 1, 2014. Right now Medicaid is housed in the Department of Job and Family Services, but is also administered by five other state agencies.  Greg Moody is the head of the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation.

“We realized that the organization of the program itself was stifling innovation," says Moody.

Medicaid is a nearly $19 billion program – it’s a third of the state budget and growing. But Moody says this move isn’t designed to cut the budget.

Wright State University is among 6 Ohio universities that are partnering with the state as part of a new program aimed at training students and health care professionals to better serve Ohio's Medicaid population. Medicaid provides coverage for the poor though state and federal funding.

Five of the six managed care organizations that lost bids for state Medicaid contracts have filed protests with Ohio officials.

This month, Ohio chose the contract winners that will provide health care services for more than 1.5 million poor and disabled people.

The Columbus Dispatch reports companies that lost out on the billions of dollars in work say the Department of Job and Family Services made errors in awarding the contracts. Several companies allege scoring on bid applications was miscalculated.

A department spokesman says the protests will be reviewed.

State officials want to change the way health care is delivered to the 190,000 Ohioans served by both Medicaid and Medicare, so the beneficiaries must only deal with a single entity to receive services.

The federal Medicare program serves the elderly and disabled, while Medicaid provides coverage for the poor though state and federal funding. The two operate fairly independently from each other.

State officials want to change the way health care is delivered to the 190,000 Ohioans served by both Medicaid and Medicare, so the beneficiaries must only deal with a single entity to receive services.

The federal Medicare program serves the elderly and disabled, while Medicaid provides coverage for the poor though state and federal funding. The two operate fairly independently from each other.

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