January 10, 2012
(Denver) – Soaring Medicaid costs are straining the state budget. Today, Rep. Dave Young and Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino proposed a bill to save money and maximize health outcomes.
“Colorado families are still suffering from the aftereffects of the Great Recession and thus the Medicaid rolls continue to grow,” Rep. Young (D-Greeley) said at a Capitol press conference today. “Expanded access to care is simply unsustainable without changes in how states deliver and pay for care.”
Rep. Young said that under the bill, health care providers will partner with the state health department to create pilot programs to restructure the payment system with a goal of incentivizing better health outcomes for patients and cutting costs.
The pilots will start to move away from the current “fee for service” payment system to a more outcomes-driven system.
Mike Huotari, vice president for government and legal affairs at Rocky Mountain Health Plans in the Grand Junction area, spoke about the proposal. “We support global payment because we believe that financial incentives in the health care field must be aligned with the quality-of-care goals, care coordination goals, patient satisfaction goals to address the health care issues that our country faces and the Medicaid program faces,” he said.
“While from the other side we hear requests for Medicaid waivers that don’t exist, Democrats are here to say we want to partner with Republicans, the administration and providers to find ways to deal with our Medicaid budget,” Rep. Ferrandino (D-Denver) said .
“The ‘fee for service’ model is outdated,” Rep. Young (D-Greeley) said, “and moving toward a global payment, integrated delivery system will ensure that physicians are getting incentives to provide quality of care rather than quantity of care.”