Advocates Urge Lawmaker Curb on Medicaid Managed Care Switch

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Health care advocates are urging Illinois legislators to reverse some of the policies enacted as part of a massive shift of Medicaid clients into managed care. The letter, obtained by The Associated Press, was dated Monday and addressed to key lawmakers who have their own questions about the state’s transfer of 800,000 people to the HealthChoice Illinois system of managed care organizations. MCOs coordinate health care and a focus on prevention, aiming to cut medical costs. The groups, including the Illinois chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Illinois Collaboration on Youth, question the Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ ability to oversee the program. The letter bemoans a dearth of details and updates on the rollout. It questions the ability of MCOs to link up clients with physicians, especially specialists, in rural areas of the state and says reimbursement-rate reductions will hurt medical suppliers.