Medicaid Officials Warn Insurers: Reform Prior Auth Before Politicians Do

Speaking at an AHIP conference in Baltimore on March 13, two state’s top Medicaid officials shared frank views about the tensions that arise from working with private managed care plans to run their Medicaid programs — especially as scrutiny of insurer practices like prior authorization is intensifying.

“We talk a lot internally about the fact that if I were to stand somebody from my agency — the Medicaid agency — next to somebody from a Medicaid managed care company, from a mission perspective, you will not see a single difference between the two,” said Jay Ludlam, deputy secretary of NC Medicaid, during the AHIP Medicare, Medicaid, Duals & Commercial Markets Forum.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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