Minnix: Medicaid managed care is inevitable, can benefit every community

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Providers and long-term care advocates need to embrace Medicaid managed care systems, which have the potential to drive improved health outcomes and bottom lines while helping providers serve those most in need, according to LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix.

“As the old proverb goes, it's better to ride in the direction your horse is galloping,” Minnix said, referring to the apparently irreversible trend toward managed care. He spoke on camera with McKnight's at last week's LeadingAge annual conference in Dallas. More than 7,000 people attended the event.

A key theme of the conference was refocusing the membership of LeadingAge, the nation's largest association of not-for-profit LTC providers, on their core mission. For two centuries, nonprofits have been serving society's most vulnerable, and these people cannot be forgotten in emerging models of care, Minnix said.

The push for Medicaid managed care should help providers better serve this population, he stated.

Some managed care organizations take a set fee in exchange for providing services through a network of providers. The idea is that this incentivizes cost control while allowing beneficiaries to receive needed care in the most appropriate setting, without being hampered by the often tangled rules and requirements of the Medicaid and Medicare fee-for-service systems. Those dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid often have complex needs and limited financial resources.

“We believe that Medicaid managed care is a new way to use the money and use the resources much better in every community,” Minnix said.

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