Lawmaker Says Provider Concern Won't Delay Mental Health Medicaid Changes | WOSU Radio

Lawmaker Says Provider Concern Won't Delay Mental Health Medicaid Changes

May 29, 2018

The state is moving mental health and addiction services for low-income Ohioans into Medicaid managed care by July 1, but providers say this huge redesign is straining their finances and could shut them down. But a key lawmaker involved in legislation relating to this redesign says it’s unlikely to be delayed.

Republican Sen. Dave Burke chairs the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee, and he says he’s heard the concerns about the redesign, including reducing payments for some services and increasing pay for others, and extending billing cycles from seven days to 30 days. But he says the redesign is on schedule.

“I would probably say that the movement around the delay is almost nonexistent. The movement's actually around finding remedies for the problems that we have at hand, and cash flow as you mentioned is the primary one,” he said.

Burke says one of those could be cash advances to providers. More than 60 percent of providers who responded to a recent survey said they were getting less money than they budgeted for from Medicaid, and just over half said they have less than two months’ worth of operating cash on hand.

A survey of more than a hundred of those providers shows the redesign is straining their finances and could shut them down.

More than 60 percent of the behavioral health and family services providers who responded to a survey earlier this year said they were getting less money than they budgeted for from Medicaid, and just over half have less than two months’ worth of the cash they need to operate.