PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI/AP) — Gov. Gina Raimondo is mounting a commission to examine and overhaul the running of Rhode Island’s state Medicaid program. At a news conference at the State House Thursday afternoon, she introduced an executive order ordering the formation of the group.
The governor’s executive order outlined some of what’s wrong with how the state is helping to pay for health care: the state’s Medicaid costs are a third of the state budget, costs per enrollee are consistently among the highest in the nation, health care services Rhode Islanders receive is often uncoordinated and fragmented, and the current program pays for medical services, rather than a patient health outcome.
“The brutal fact is we have a Medicaid system in this state that isn’t working. It’s not working. By any measure,” she said. “It’s not just a budget problem. It’s about reinventing the system of care to provide better care at less cost.”
Part of the impetus of the overhaul is cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse — to lower costs and save the state money.
The governor set a deadline for a report of recommendations from the group for the end of April.
Raimondo has said that Rhode Island faces a nearly $200 million deficit in the 2016 fiscal year, and unless the state makes big changes, it could grow to almost $500 million in 2019.
She presented her budget proposal for the next fiscal year Feb. 18. She has said she will make cuts and investments that will create jobs.