On October 5, Ohio Medicaid Director Barbara Sears and Governor’s Office of Health Transformation Director Greg Moody briefed Medicaid providers, including the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, on concerns relative to the State Controlling Board’s release of funds appropriated for Medicaid.
During the state budget process, the Ohio General Assembly appropriated funding for Medicaid, but inserted provisions into the law that the State Controlling Board would have to okay the release of the funding. The Kasich administration was told this was just a procedural thing and that there would be no problem with the release of the money when Medicaid requested/needed it. Now, apparently, the Senate leadership is saying that they may not supply the votes at the Controlling Board to approve the release of funds which means that according to Medicaid projections, Medicaid will run out of money in May 2018.
The Kasich administration plans to go to the Controlling Board to request $264 million on October 30—they say they need to know that the money will be available prior to negotiating Medicaid managed care contracts. If there aren’t votes to approve on October 30, the administration will withdraw the request and likely wait until Medicaid is running out of money to submit another request.
If the administration operates under the assumption that the Controlling Board is never going to release the money, Medicaid says that an immediate 16% across the board cut to all providers would be needed to balance the budget. That is the reason they are opting for running out of money rather than making drastic cuts now.
The October 7 edition of the Columbus Dispatch described the situation in an article. Three million Ohioans would be impacted if Medicaid runs out of money.