(LOUISVILLE, Ky, 4 P.M. June 22, 2016): The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky provided the following statement regarding Kentucky HEALTH, a proposal to transform Kentucky’s Medicaid program announced today by Gov. Matt Bevin:
“The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is committed to addressing the unmet health care needs of Kentuckians, and will be closely reviewing the Medicaid 1115 demonstration waiver proposal released today by Governor Matt Bevin,” said Susan Zepeda, President and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “Our initial read of the proposal finds that there are areas to applaud in the proposal, including aligning Managed Care Organization practices for greater efficiency, incentives for evidence-based healthy behaviors such as quitting smoking and obtaining a health risk assessment, expansion of presumptive eligibility sites (including local health departments), and commitment to drug use disorder and mental health services.
“The proposal also raises concerns, including the exclusion of dental and vision benefits in the standard benefits package, anticipated significant drops in Medicaid enrollment, elimination of retroactive eligibility and re-enrollment requirements and penalties for those who fail to pay mandated premiums.
“Low-income Kentuckians eligible for Medicaid often have very different health issues and living circumstances from those of the average state employee covered by the health plan after which this is modeled.
“As Kentucky moves from a volume-based to a value-based system of payment for medical services, the waiver process presents many opportunities for innovation in care delivery. At the Foundation, we will be reviewing the Medicaid 1115 waiver proposal in light of what we have learned from innovative programs in Kentucky, input on Medicaid reform provided by diverse stakeholders at our May 12 convening, and reviewing relevant health services research and policy literature to inform our understanding and position on this important health policy proposal.
“We encourage stakeholders to review the documents the State has prepared and to address opportunities and concerns in the proposal in writing or through testimony at the three Public Hearings scheduled in the next two weeks.”
About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested over $26 million in health policy research, advocacy and pilot project grants across the Commonwealth. Funded by an endowment, the mission of the Foundation is to address the unmet health care needs of Kentuckians by informing and influencing health policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Follow the Foundation on Twitter and on Facebook, or visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.
Bonnie J. Hackbarth