Both the House and Senate allowed the other’s bill, which reaffirms the Mississippi Division of Medicaid for the next four years, to die on the calendar Friday as lawmakers are seemingly divided on several changes.
Senator Kevin Blackwell, the Chairman of the Senate Medicaid Committee, said this morning he planned to meet with the Lt. Governor. “We’ve extended an invitation to Chairman Hood. I’m not sure if he’s accepted or if he plans to be there but, we’re gonna work through the process and we’ll come up with a viable medicaid tech bill before it’s all said and done.” That meeting is supposed to take place at 1 this afternoon.
There are several procedural measures that could occur in order to resurrect the code sections and implement the changes. There’s also the possibility that Governor Tate Reeves could call a special session.
“The Governor is the only one who can call a special session,” stated Blackwell. “And when he does he can be very specific about what we’re supposed to take up. And if you want to talk about some irony, in the House bill they were wanting to have a commission and take authority away from the governor. When they killed our bill, they inadvertently gave him the power now to oversee the program.”
Blackwell isn’t sure why the House didn’t take up the Senate’s bill. “In our bill you see a lot of enhancements that we are offering to our constituents, such as extending postpartum care for women for 12 months and bariatric surgery. We had a number of studies in there to take a look at the dental managed care organization…if they should be under a single payer. We removed the 5% penalty that was placed on certain providers. We put language in about a uniform credentialing process. So, there were a number of things in our bill that were enhancements to the program.”
He said in the house bill they were very prescriptive about how to go through credentialing, and they also removed the 5% penalty that had been on certain providers. “They were also prescriptive with some utilization review, prior approval language.”