Medicaid

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Gov. Pat Quinn says he'll propose closing "quite a few" Illinois state facilities in his budget address next week.

Quinn, a Democrat, did not give the Associated Press any specifics about the closures, saying details will come during his budget address next Wednesday.

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Spring session kicks off today in Illinois

Legislative leaders say budget items are expected to top the agenda in the coming weeks. Those items include the state's troubled pension system and Medicaid costs.

House Deputy Majority leader, Democrat Frank Mautino, says Medicaid reform could end up being more controversial than pensions. Mautino says payment cycles are stretching too long and that cuts have to be made.

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Missouri will receive nearly $14 million, as part of a settlement of a multi-state lawsuit against drug manufacturer Merck.

The lawsuit centers on the prescription drug Vioxx, which the company marketed as a painkiller for people diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Merck has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for promoting the drug before receiving FDA approval, and it will pay $950 million in criminal and civil penalties.  The company halted sales of Vioxx in 2004 after evidence showed the drug doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke.

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A Missouri health official says the state could need as many as 130 temporary workers to evaluate the needs of thousands of Medicaid patients after an outside contractor quit.

Indiana-based SynCare LLC quit after three months amid complaints about its service and disagreement with Missouri officials.

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Updated 4:25 p.m. with comments from Mo. House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City), who also oversees an interim committee looking into complaints against SynCare.

The State of Missouri is taking over the duties of SynCare, an Indianapolis-based company which won a contract in February worth as much as $5.5 million a year to determine whether thousands of Missouri Medicaid recipients qualify for home-based medical services or help with daily chores. 

(via Flickr/ChrisEaves.com)

Reporting by Illinois Public Radio’s Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

The cuts Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn made to hospitals probably won’t be the final deal. The administration is using the move in an effort to further its agenda.

Illinois reimburses hospitals when they take on low-income patients who are on Medicaid, and state law sets the rate hospitals are to be paid.

(via Flickr/jennlynndesign)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has signed Missouri’s $23 billion budget for the next fiscal year into law – but he’s also slashed $172 million from the spending plan that takes effect July first.

Nixon says the cuts are needed not only to keep the state budget balanced, but to also help cover storm damage costs.

(via Flickr/CarbonNYC)

The Missouri Senate has passed legislation extending several health care taxes that help generate about $3 billion annually for state's Medicaid program.

The special taxes are levied on such things hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacies. They are used to draw down federal Medicaid money, which is then distributed to health care providers through various programs.

Missouri's health care taxes are to expire Sept. 30.

  • January continues to be a snowy, slipper month for the St. Louis area. Several accidents are being reported this morning, and several schools are closed - many for the third in a row. The latest problems come after about an inch of snow fell yesterday, followed by a light freezing drizzle this morning. The Missouri State Highway Patrol said interstates 64 and 70 in parts of St. Louis and St. Charles are particularly slick.
  • St.

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