More Medicaid Programs Use Managed Care Plans to Provide Patients With Long-Term Services

State Medicaid programs are more willing to take on care of those with disabilities in managed long-term supports and services (MLTSS) programs, and they’re using managed Medicaid plans to do so, according to Modern Healthcare. MLTSS involves sending a provider into a home, often for 40 hours a week, to help patients with daily needs as well as with such medical issues as making sure correct medications are taken in the correct amounts.

In 2004, eight states used private insurers for MLTSS. Today, 20 states have shifted the programs to commercial health plans. In 2004, 105,000 beneficiaries were in MLTSS programs; in 2014, that number jumped to 1.6 million. Medicaid spent $146 billion on all long-term supports and services in 2014.

“Officials say it enables delivery of more coordinated care and prevents sending people to expensive nursing home setting,” Modern Healthcare Reports. “But some advocates are claiming that they are seeing care suffer under the model. Researchers who study the issue say the concern may be driven more by a fear of change than any actual shortcomings in care.”

For their part, states that have made the switch insist that the level of care under MLTSS programs has actually improved, an assessment being evaluated by researchers with the Center for State Health Policy at Rutgers University, which monitors access to care.

Source: Modern Healthcare