Saturday, July 9, 2011

Preventative Care Key to Medicaid Savings

A voice of reason amid all the talk of Medicaid cuts and it comes from the University of Kansas. I hold no grudges (having graduated from University of Missouri) and applaud this thinking. Hopefully the powers that be will listen to Amanda Reichard.

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Like several other cash-strapped states around the country, Kansas soon may trim its contribution to Medicaid, the federal-sta program that provides health insurance to low-income groups, including people with cognitive and physical disabilities. In 2010, Kansas spent $747 million on Medicaid.
A series of public forums on Kansas' approach to Medicaid is slated for this month as part of a review that aims to reduce costs and enhance care provided to the 300,000 Kansans who depend on Medicaid benefits.
But Amanda Reichard, assistant research professor at the University of Kansas, already has spent years mining the state's Medicaid claims data in her role at KU's Research and Training Center on Measurement and Interdependence in Community Living.
"If there's one glaring need, it's preventive care," said Reichard. "Not just preventive screenings, but preventive care. It's not patients' primary disabilities that are most expensive to the Medicaid program. It's treatment of the associated chronic diseases that cost much more."

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