Assessing Medicaid Managed Care in Eastern State
This case examines the expanding role of managed care programs in improving health care for the poor while controlling runaway health care costs. The case asks what the commissioner of health in a large eastern state should do to effectively monitor Medicaid managed care programs in her state. The commissioner faces intense pressures for cost containment and strong, but not universal, support for the managed care solution to health care cost problems. The commissioner is herself concerned that the cost savings attributed to managed care may not be real and that the unintended effects on health care may be adverse. Her immediate challenge is to determine what kinds of data she should require service providers to submit to her agency so that she may effectively monitor managed care programs for health care quality, provide positive feedback to health care providers, and establish politically credible program oversight.