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Health/Mental Health/Aging

Senator Says Redesign For Behavioral Health System Won't Be Delayed, In Spite Of Providers' Concerns

sen._dave_burke_w_medicaid_spending_chart_in_2013_-_credit_kasler.jpg
Karen Kasler
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Sen. Dave Burke (R-Marysville) discusses Medicaid spending at a 2013 press conference.

The state is moving mental health and addiction services for low income Ohioans into Medicaid managed care by July 1, but providers say this huge redesign is straining their finances and could shut them down. But a key lawmaker involved in legislation relating to this redesign says it’s unlikely to be delayed.

Republican Sen. Dave Burke chairs the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee, and he said he’s heard the concerns about the redesign, including reducing payments for some services and increasing pay for others, and extending billing cycles from seven days to 30 days.

But he said the redesign is on schedule. “I would probably say that the movement around the delay is almost nonexistent. The movement's actually around finding remedies for the problems that we have at hand, and cash flow as you mentioned is the primary one,” Burke said.

Burke said one of those could be cash advances to providers.

More than 60 percent of providers who responded to a recent survey said they were getting less money than they budgeted for from Medicaid, and just over half said they have less than two months’ worth of operating cash on hand.

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