Massachusetts budget would keep MassHealth spending increase at 5%

January 27, 2016

Governor Charlie Baker's proposed state budget keeps spending growth in MassHealth to 5% a year. The program accounts for nearly 40% of the $39.6 billion state budget. Analysts said spending on the program has outpaced the increase in overall medical spending because of swelling rolls. The administration's budget proposal would require prior authorization for home health services, a piece of the MassHealth budget that jumped by 41%, said state HHS Secretary Marylou Sudders. The administration is taking several other steps to rein in costs, including holding flat most of the rates paid to providers and moving more MassHealth members into managed care plans. State officials are also working to improve the process of identifying and removing members who do not meet the income eligibility requirements for the program, Sudders said.
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