(KCPW News) A local healthcare advocacy group is happy to see Governor Gary Herbert’s budget proposal for 2012 includes $40 million in additional funding for CHIP and Medicaid to accommodate more clients. Judi Hilman is executive director of the Utah Health Policy Project.
“I think there’s just a recognition of the role that Medicaid in a recession and in an economic recovery that naturally more people become eligible, and that’s Medicaid doing its job,” she told KCPW.
Still, Hilman is disappointed the budget doesn’t restore funding for vision and hearing benefits, which would cost about $320,000.
While she’s pleased Governor Herbert’s proposal addresses the mandatory rate increases for Medicaid healthcare providers…
“We need to ask some hard questions about whether consumers have timely access to care and are we paying providers enough for them to have that access,” said Hilman. “And the answer is no. I would have liked to see something in there for physicians and mental health providers at the very least.”
The Utah Health Policy Project is supporting a draft bill that would provide an incentive for whistleblowers to come forward when they spot Medicaid fraud. They’re hoping it would save the state’s program a million dollars per year. It will be considered in the next legislative session starting in January.