A bill designed to find cost savings and efficiencies in Texas' costly Medicaid program — and, more controversially, expand managed care into the Rio Grande Valley — is moving to Senate budget writers for consideration.
— Save $290 million over the biennium by expanding Medicaid managed care into the Rio Grande Valley, and counties that currently have a ban on implementation of managed care. (This applies to Cameron, Hidalgo and Maverick counties.)
— Save $51 million by carving prescriptions drugs into Texas' Medicaid managed care programs — requiring most Medicaid patients to use medicines on a state preferred drug list.
— Save $15.9 million by moving children from the State Kids Insurance Program to the Children's Health Insurance Program.
— Save $28 million by requiring Texans with disabilities who receive in-home "attendant" care services to get it through a Medicaid state program first, at a lower cost to the state.
The measure now heads to the full Senate Finance Committee, which is crafting its version of the much-reduced budget for 2012-13.