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October 9, 2018

Around the nation: Wisconsin's Medicaid program made almost $600K in payments for dead patients

Daily Briefing

    The payments were made to managed care organizations to cover care for patients who were presumed to be Medicaid beneficiaries, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Nevada, and Wisconsin.

    • California: Gov. Jerry Brown (D) last week vetoed a bill that would have permitted San Francisco to open the nation's first supervised drug injection site in the United States. Advocates say such sites could reduce the danger of the opioid epidemic by giving substance misusers a safe place to use illegal drugs. However, Brown in his veto statement said, "I do not believe that enabling illegal drug use in government sponsored injection centers—with no corresponding requirement that the user undergo treatment—will reduce drug addiction." New York, Philadelphia, and Seattle are considering ordinances to allow similar safe injection sites (Firozi, "PowerPost," Washington Post, 10/5).

    • Nevada: Brian Evans will succeed Kathy Medeiros as president and CEO of Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital effective Dec. 2. Medeiros is retiring this year. Evans previously served as CMO of Mercy General Hospital and as VP of medical affairs at Sierra Nevada Memorial (The Union, 10/4).

    • Wisconsin: Wisconsin's Medicaid program from 2010 to 2015 incorrectly paid $589,478 to managed care organizations for patients who were already dead, according to an Office of Inspector General audit. State Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D) said, "Somebody is supposed to be checking if a person is dead or alive," but "obviously the process didn't work." The inspector general said Wisconsin should refund the federal government its share of the money, which is $347,822, after recovering the payments from the managed care organizations (Fauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/4).

    Where the states stand on Medicaid expansion

    The Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) allowed states to opt of the law's Medicaid expansion, leaving each state's decision to participate in the hands of the nation's governors and state leaders.

    The Daily Briefing editorial teams have been tracking where each state stands on the issue since the ruling, combing through lawmakers' statements, press releases, and media coverage. In this latest iteration of our Medicaid map, we've determined each state's position based on legislative or executive actions to expand coverage to low-income residents using ACA funding.

    Get the Map

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