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This month’s Medicaid Council meeting began with ongoing concerns about what happened to HUSKY parents cut off the program at the end of July. There were lots of numbers but of the original 18,903 slated for the cut in last year’s budget at least 7,713 were lost to HUSKY or AccessHealthCT coverage. Almost 4,000 more were lost to the program during the last year for various reasons. As these parents are low income, it is likely that many thousands of working parents in our state just joined the roles of the uninsured. The Council strongly recommended a follow up study to determine the impact on these families, where they get care now, how it is paid for, and health outcomes. Policymakers want to know if the cuts really saved the state any money.
The Council heard quickly about the consultants’ proposal for health reform across CT for the Health Care Cabinet. Most Council members were not aware of the plan or any proposal. Members raised strong concerns about the profound impact of the proposal on the Medicaid program and risk to our successes. This month the Council will have a webinar with the consultants who drafted the proposal. DSS shared their comments on the proposal.

We also heard about DSS’s plan to monitor access to care for Medicaid members including the number of participating providers, geographic access, openings for new patients, utilization of services, secret shopper studies and consumer surveys. DSS agreed to consider input on potential problems, such as budget cuts, to help focus future monitoring. DSS also described their plans for ImpaCT, the new, state-of-the-art integrated eligibility system. ImpaCT will replace the 30 year-old EMS system that is badly out of date. ImpaCT is designed to ensure accurate eligibility across programs, improve the accuracy of payments, and streamline processes for DSS workers.