Governor Gina Raimondo is asking a group of healthcare leaders to tackle the cost of Medicaid. The program provides healthcare for poor and elderly Rhode Islanders.
The per-patient cost for Medicaid in Rhode Island is the second highest in the nation, and the rising price tag is eating up too much of the state budget. That was the message from Governor Gina Raimondo, as she signed an executive order to create a working group on Medicaid.
Raimondo said if the state doesn’t address the issue, the consequences could be dire.
“People will continue to suffer, the most vulnerable among us will get poor care, and our budget deficits will bankrupt the state and cities and towns,” Raimondo warned.
Although she focused on the initiative as a way to improve health care services for Medicaid patients, Raimondo also noted the state will probably have to make difficult decisions. Medicaid takes up a significant portion of state spending, and the state is facing a budget deficit.
“More than 30 cents of every state dollar, we spend on Medicaid," Raimondo said.
The working group will take aim at several areas, including waste and fraud, and patients who use the system most frequently.
"The 7 percent of patients who are the most expensive represent two-thirds of the cost of Medicaid,” Raimondo explained.
The Medicaid task force includes the leaders of every major health plan in the state and representatives from hospitals and some local businesses.
The governor has asked for a first round of recommendations by April 30th.
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