FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 2, 2004) -- An advisory panel on Medicaid heard this week about the state’s plan to modernize the program and bring about quality improvements for members.
The Advisory Council for Medical Assistance met Wednesday and heard from Acting Medicaid Commissioner Shannon Turner and Health and Family Services Deputy Undersecretary for Health Rebecca Cecil. The council is made up of representatives of patient and provider groups from across the state.
Turner discussed the contract with the new pharmacy benefits administrator, First Health Services, along with some of the other proposed initiatives for technology and care management that should be launched next year. First Health Services will be able to provide better healthcare to Kentucky Medicaid members through technology that will identify cases when patients are getting inappropriate medications or unsafe dosages.
Turner said the efforts will empower members as they learn more about their illnesses and “improve the quality of their life – something people are receptive to.”
Kris Paul of Meade County, representing nurses on the council, said she liked the plan’s emphasis on prevention. “I think the prevention approach is very good,” she said.
Bettie Weyler of Louisville, the council representative for aging, said she agrees with the Medicaid program’s focus on pharmacy and hopes that the initiatives work. “We have to do something about the cost of drugs,” she added.
The Medicaid Modernization initiative is aimed at improving the quality of care for members by using technology, care, and disease management to bring the program into the 21st century. Such advancements should also result in cost savings within the $4.3 billion program that covers 680,000 people.
Representatives of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services will continue holding meetings with patient and provider groups to discuss and explain the Medicaid Modernization project.