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Medicaid’s Most Costly Outpatient Drugs

Using Medicaid State Drug Utilization Data, this brief presents the 50 most costly drugs before rebates used by the Medicaid program over the January 2014 through June 2015 period. It then examines reasons why these drugs are so costly; explores case studies on opioids, hepatitis C drugs, and the drug Abilify; and considers policy implications.

Becoming Healthy Louisiana: System-Assisted Medicaid Enrollment

Enrollment in Louisiana’s Medicaid expansion, which began on June 1st, got off to a rapid start, with 233,794 new enrollees by June 30th. This robust beginning was due in large measure to months of behind-the-scenes work aimed at leveraging information from existing state systems to facilitate swift and seamless Medicaid enrollment. The state identified groups of people already participating in state-administered programs who are eligible for Medicaid under the new expansion, and quickly enrolled them through a combination of automatic transfers and the use of a federal option that relies on data from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) to significantly streamline enrollment. By using verified data on income and other eligibility factors available in state databases, Louisiana obviated the need for individuals to complete a separate Medicaid application or produce additional or duplicative verification documents.

What’s At Stake in the Future of the Kentucky Medicaid Expansion?

On June 22, 2016, Governor Bevin released his proposed Section 1115 demonstration waiver proposal called Kentucky HEALTH (Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health) as an alternative to the current Medicaid expansion. This brief examines what has happened to coverage, access and utilization and the economic impact of the Medicaid expansion in Kentucky and the implications for changes going forward.

A Look at Rural Hospital Closures and Implications for Access to Care: Three Case Studies

The number of rural hospital closures has increased significantly in recent years. This trend is expected to continue, raising questions about the impact the closures will have on rural communities’ access to health care services. To investigate the factors that contribute to rural hospital closures and the impact those closures have on access to health care in rural communities, the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and the Urban Institute conducted case studies of three hospital closures that took place in 2015: Mercy Hospital in Independence, Kansas; Parkway Regional Hospital in Fulton, Kentucky; and Marlboro Park Hospital in Bennettsville, South Carolina. Two of these hospitals were in states that did not adopt the Medicaid coverage expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Kansas and South Carolina), while one of the hospitals was located in a Medicaid expansion state (Kentucky).

Children’s Health Coverage: The Role of Medicaid and CHIP and Issues for the Future

This brief summarizes the role Medicaid and CHIP plays in providing coverage to children, discusses the importance of Medicaid and CHIP for children’s health and well-being, provides an overview of the eligibility for coverage of the remaining uninsured children, and raises issues impacting the future of children’s coverage.

Two Year Trends in Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Data: Findings from the CMS Performance Indicator Project

This brief provides an overview of recent trends in Medicaid and CHIP enrollment as of January 2016, based on data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) produced as part of its Performance Indicator Project. The project was designed to provide timely data on Medicaid and CHIP eligibility and enrollment that are intended to help strengthen data-driven program management and oversight efforts at both the national and state level. They also provide insight into Medicaid and CHIP eligibility and enrollment experiences as the ACA is implemented. This brief examines data as of January 2016 to be able to look at two full years of data post implementation of the major coverage provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Overview of Medicaid Per Capita Cap Proposals

The House Republican Plan (“A Better Way”) released on June 22, 2016, includes a proposal to convert federal Medicaid financing from an open-ended entitlement to a per capita allotment or a block grant (based on a state choice). This proposal is part of a larger package designed to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and reduce federal spending for health care. Often tied to deficit reduction, proposals to convert Medicaid’s financing structure to a per capita cap or block grant have been proposed before. Such changes represent a fundamental change in the financing structure of the program with major implications for beneficiaries, providers, states and localities. Key things to understand about a per capita cap include the following: how a per capita cap works, key design challenges, and implications of a per capita cap.

Trends in State Medicaid Programs: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

For 15 years, KCMU and HMA have conducted annual surveys of Medicaid programs across the country. The NAMD has formally collaborated on this project since 2014. This brief provides a look back at the enrollment and spending trends as well as the multitude of policy actions taken by states across key areas: eligibility and application processes; provider rates and taxes; benefits, pharmacy and long-term care since as well as highlighting more recent data on managed care and delivery system reforms collected as part of this annual survey. Looking ahead, the survey will continue to capture the evolution of the Medicaid program with a focus program changes during economic cycles as well as innovations in payment and delivery system reform.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.