Medicaid patients focus of lawmakers

first_imgPreviously: Sen. Craig Pridemore, D-Vancouver, added language to the Senate’s proposed budget that would require the Health Care Authority to certify that Medicaid managed care plans have enough providers to meet the population’s needs prior to entering contracts.What’s new: State representatives from Southwest Washington successfully worked the language into the negotiated supplemental operating budget approved last week. The legislative delegation and Clark County providers and Medicaid members are urging Gov. Chris Gregoire to keep the language in the budget.What’s next: Local legislators are trying to schedule a meeting with Gregoire before she gives final approval on the budget.State representatives from Southwest Washington are continuing the work they say protects Clark County’s Medicaid population, even though the special legislative session ended a week ago.Last month, state Sen. Craig Pridemore, D-Vancouver, added proviso language to the Senate’s proposed budget that would require the state Health Care Authority to certify that Medicaid managed care contractors have established networks of acute, primary and specialty care providers sufficient to meet the needs of the anticipated enrollees.Other local representatives joined the effort and successfully worked the language into the negotiated supplemental operating budget approved last week.But their work isn’t done yet.The budget is awaiting final approval from Gov. Chris Gregoire, who said she will likely veto portions of the budget. Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, is trying to set up a meeting between the governor and the Southwest Washington legislative delegation to urge Gregoire to keep the HCA language in the final budget.last_img