Children with disabilities losing Medicaid coverage

January 27, 2020, Mississippi Today, Anna Wolfe - Lawmakers were right: People ineligible for Medicaid in Mississippi have been receiving the health care benefit anyway. But they aren’t adults scamming the system. They’re children with disabilities, whose middle-class parents relied on the public health insurance loophole to afford expensive monthly medical treatments. Because of a recent crackdown on Medicaid eligibility, many families who had been receiving the Disabled Child Living at Home waiver have been denied the benefits when they’ve tried to renew them. Following outcry from parents, lawmakers are now working on legislation to restore coverage to the affected families.

Medicaid changes could address maternal mortality driven by social determinants

January 24, 2020, Modern Healthcare, Michael Brady - Medicaid beneficiaries are 82% more likely to experience severe maternal morbidity and mortality than women with private health coverage, according to new research presented at the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission meeting Friday. People of color and women in rural areas are at the greatest risk for severe maternal morbidity and mortality among Medicaid recipients, said Katy Kozhimannil, associate professor at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health and director of research for the Rural Health Research Center. Black and indigenous women are about three times as likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause as white women.

Trump administration finalizing Medicaid block grant plan targeting Obamacare

January 23, 2020, Politico, Dan Diamond -  The The Trump administration is finalizing a plan to let states convert a chunk of Medicaid funding to block grants, even as officials remain divided over how to sell the controversial change to the safety net health program. CMS Administrator Seema Verma plans to issue a letter soon explaining how states could seek waivers to receive defined payments for adults covered by Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, according to seven people with knowledge of the closely guarded effort. An announcement is tentatively slated for the end of next week, more than one year after Verma and her team began developing the plan.

Poll: Mississippi voters are worried about health costs. They want lawmakers to act

January 22, 2020, The Clarion Ledger, Luke Ramseth -  The poll said health care affordability and accessibility is now the most important priority for Magnolia State voters as the 2020 legislative session begins, overtaking perennial issues such as fixing broken roads and funding schools. The survey also found continued support for Medicaid expansion. Some 60% of voters polled said the state should expand coverage to low-income, uninsured residents, and offer greater financial stability to hospitals. That’s the same percent as last year, a result the pollster called “remarkably steady.”

Trump Administration to Soon Issue Guidance on Medicaid Block Grants

January 19, 2020, The Wall Street Journal, Stephanie Armour - The Trump administration plans to release guidance as soon as this month for granting states waivers to convert Medicaid funding to block grants, according to two people familiar with the matter, paving the way for a transformation of the 55-year-old program that is likely to reignite a partisan feud.The impending release comes as a surprise after the Office of Management and Budget, which reviews regulatory actions, indicated in November that block-grant instructions had been withdrawn. Lawmakers and legal advisers speculated that the guidance may have been shelved or significantly delayed.

Medicaid nurses offer health screens in Lamar County schools

January 15, 2020, WDAM, Karrie Leggett-Brown - When your kids are in school, teachers are taking care of your child’s education and nurses are taking care of the child.  In the Lamar County School District, Director of Human Resources Chris Wooten said there is a different kind of nurse that isn’t in very many school districts.“That’s what the nurses are here for, they keep the students in class and they learn more,” Wooten said. Wooten has seen first-hand the positve impact Medicaid nurses have in the school district. “They have been able to send things home to the parents saying, ‘You need to have your child tested for something,’” Wooten said.