Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Senate President Faber Announces Medicaid Reform Initiative

(Columbus) – Ohio Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) announced today the appointment of a Medicaid reform task force led by Senator Dave Burke (R-Marion).

“The House has indicated they don’t have the votes to get the governor’s Medicaid proposal done in the budget,” said Faber. “Therefore, I do not believe that issue is on the table as it relates to this legislation. That is not to say we are ending the discussion. My caucus wants to look at Medicaid reform in a comprehensive way outside of the complexities of the budget. This issue has a significant financial impact on the state, and we need to understand every intended and unintended consequence before we make any commitments.”

Faber added that any Medicaid proposal must include flexibility from the federal government and systemic reform, including cost and accountability controls. He said the Senate would work in concert with the Ohio House and the Kasich administration to explore reform in a stand-alone bill.

“We believe there is a path to Medicaid reform that covers the people who need it in the short term, while reducing costs in the long term. We want to achieve an outcome that addresses the concerns expressed on all sides of this debate.”

Burke added, “Over the next several weeks, the Senate will be talking with constituents and interest groups about Ohio’s Medicaid program. Our work will involve multiple stakeholders, including the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation, and our goal is to improve the Medicaid program for the lives we serve and the taxpayers who pay the bills.”

Burke announced the following seven objectives for his task force:

Establish firm annual per member, per month spending targets
Establish performance measures and targets that focus more on outcomes not outputs
Increase consumer involvement in the delivery of Medicaid services
Remove costly legislative mandates that prohibit innovation and flexibility
Streamline legislative oversight
Invest in research and evaluation for Medicaid and the entire health care system in Ohio
Eliminate statutory regulations that impede the cost-effective delivery of health care in Ohio

The task force will begin its work immediately.
MATT'S CHAT: I don't know why we need a committee to JUST SAY NO! The hospital lobbying special interest groups must be dropping serious coins on these guys...let's see who gets bought...