Forum Planned On Medicaid Cuts

Aug 5, 2011

State officials, healthcare providers, and patient advocates will gather at N-C State today for a public forum on cuts to the state's Medicaid program.

The state budget passed in June requires the Department of Health and Human Services to cut 354 million dollars from its Medicaid budget. It's one of the largest reductions to health programs in state history, according to the head of the department, Secretary Lanier Cansler. He says it's going to require a group effort to decide exactly what to cut.

Lanier Cansler: "It's really a very laborsome process, understanding the impact the changes can make but also understanding whenever the legislature has set a budget that we're supposed to operate in we don't have a lot of choices to fall within that."

Cansler says the cuts could include reducing rates for providers, limiting patient services and prescriptions, and scaling back services. A state-appointed advisory board is in charge of the forum. Two more forums will be held in the fall.