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Medicaid Cost Containment Options for Washington State

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Brian Bruen, Richard Jensen, Patricia Riley, Anthony Lara, Xiaoxiao Lu - April 2011

The 2010 Washington State Legislature funded a study to examine options to contain costs in the state Medicaid program. Following a competitive bid, George Washington University was selected as the contractor. They found that small numbers of users account for most fee-for-service spending for inpatient and outpatient services. Options to reduce short-term costs include reducing reimbursement, placing restrictions on benefits, and instituting cost-sharing for beneficiaries. Long-term solutions require concentrated, coordinated care management for high-use, high-cost Medicaid beneficiaries and strategic approaches to reform the service delivery system, with accompanying payment reform to incentivize change.

Report ID: 11-04-3402

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