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February 11, 2019

New Missouri Medicaid report signals start to become a best-in-class program

Jefferson City, MO— Today, the Department of Social Services released the results of an intensive and comprehensive independent evaluation of the Missouri Medicaid program.  The "Rapid Response Review" identifies challenges within the current program and opportunities to continue to modernize and transform Medicaid to best meet the needs of Missouri citizens.

"Ensuring that each and every Missourian has access to the quality health care they deserve is crucial to improving Missouri’s workforce and infrastructure.  Missouri’s Medicaid program serves over 900,000 Missourians, involves three departments and costs more than $10 billion a year. We owe it to the citizens of our state to take a comprehensive look to determine what improvements can be made and how to maximize every tax dollar spent," said Governor Parson.

The Rapid Response Review examined the entire Medicaid program, including health care outcomes, participant experiences, operational efficiencies and cost management. "Missouri must strive to have a best-in-class Medicaid program that addresses the needs of Missouri's most vulnerable population in a way that is financially sustainable," said Todd Richardson, Director, MO HealthNet.  "While the report identifies significant challenges within the current program, I am excited by the enthusiasm it is generating within MO HealthNet and to work with our colleagues at the Departments of Health and Senior Services and Mental Health to improve the program.  I have seen what Missourians with different perspectives can achieve when everyone works together toward a mutual goal."

One important finding revealed by the report focused on expenditure trends and the dangers of Medicaid spending continuing at the current pace. "Based on current expenditure trends the
future cost of Missouri's Medicaid program will likely exceed the state’s ability to keep up with those costs," said Steve Corsi, Psy.D., Director, Department of Social Services.  "The state must address this potential issue now to avoid scenarios that could dramatically impact Missouri's ability to provide health care a few years from now."

Modernizing and transforming Medicaid requires strategic and thoughtful planning. The purpose of the Rapid Response Review was to examine and evaluate the Missouri Medicaid program, policies, procedures and practices and compare them to other Medicaid programs to help determine what is working well and what opportunities exist to improve.

"We must now begin the hard work of planning and implementing a transformation of Missouri’s Medicaid program," said Richardson.  "While the report identifies a range of options for the state to consider – the path forward will ultimately be determined by what is best for Missouri."

The goals of the Medicaid transformation effort will be to: 

  • Bring Medicaid spending growth in line with the rate of growth for Missouri
  • Ensure access to health care and services to meet the needs of Missouri's most vulnerable populations
  • Improve participant experiences and health care outcomes and increase their independence
  • Partner with providers to modernize care delivery system
  • Become a leader in the implementation of value-based care in Medicaid

Along with ensuring quality care, Missouri Medicaid is also dedicated to protecting the integrity of the program "Nearly one-third of Missouri’s budget is dedicated to the Medicaid program," said Richardson. "As I’ve stated previously, we plan to embrace all innovative ideas to maximize current resources, think outside the box and use new technologies to make sure we are wisely spending every tax dollar with intent and purpose to ensure eligible Missourians get the quality health care they deserve."

Transformation is a team effort, and Missouri Medicaid understands the importance of partnering with health care industry leaders to work together towards change. "I look forward to working together with the dedicated team at MO HealthNet along with our state colleagues, providers, community partners and stakeholders throughout this process to help implement updates, develop best-practices, improve outcomes, and lower costs," said Richardson.

Read the full Rapid Response Review for complete details about the extensive review, findings, and expert recommendations.


Media Contact

Rebecca Woelfel