MADISON – Department of Health Services Secretary, Dennis G. Smith, today launched a website that outlines initiatives designed to keep the state’s Medicaid program sustainable, fair and equitable. The site was developed in an effort to ensure that the cost savings measures are posted for the public to see prior to any formal submission of changes to the federal government.
“This website is a transparent way for Wisconsin citizens, providers, advocates and stakeholders to view and provide comments on what the Department is proposing to keep Medicaid financially stable,” Secretary Smith said. “The feedback we get on these initiatives will be considered before we formally submit our proposed changes to the federal government for approval.”
Currently, one of every five Wisconsin residents is served by Medicaid. With a $1.33 billion decrease of federal matching funds and past budget estimates based on a projected enrollment decline while enrollments actually increased, the Department was tasked with finding savings to keep the program solvent and meet 2011-2013 state budget targets.
Summaries of each initiative are listed individually by program and by four reform categories on the website: eligibility, benefits, service delivery and payment reforms. Additional reforms will be posted on the site as they are finalized. Some of the first initiatives posted on the site include:
Virtual PACE – In Wisconsin, roughly 120,000 Medicaid enrollees are also enrolled in Medicare and are known as “dual eligible” members. Currently, the members must navigate a fragmented health care system that limits coordination between health providers and increases costs. The new program, Virtual PACE, is a coordinated care system for Wisconsin’s dual eligible members who wish to receive their services in community settings. This is accomplished by fully integrating Medicare and Medicaid services and funds.
Medical Homes for Children in Foster Care – Currently, there are 5,500 children in foster care who receive Medicaid services in Wisconsin. Many of the foster care children need specialty care and are receiving that care on a fee-for-service basis. As a result, care may be limited among providers, is not coordinated, and may not address the specific needs of foster care children. The Departments of Health Services and Children and Families are creating a medical home model for children in foster care that provides health care services that are evidencebased and will ensure better health, improved behavior and mental health, with the goal of achieving positive permanent placement outcomes.
To view the first of several Medicaid savings initiatives and provide input, visit: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/MAreform