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State’s move to Medicaid managed care smooth so far

New Hampshire health officials said they are pleased so far with the state’s transition to a managed care system for its Medicaid program.

Since the program launched Dec. 1, the number of calls to the three contracted health plans have been what officials expected, and problems that have come up have been resolved quickly. One trouble spot has involved pharmacy claims, because pharmacies need to know which plan the customer has selected in order to fill a prescription.

“Though some instances have required work behind the scenes to assure continuity of care and timely payment, in nearly every such instance, the challenges were resolved rapidly and the member experience was smooth,” said Deputy Medicaid Director Lisabritt Solsky.

New Hampshire is switching from a fee-for-service health care system to managed care to save money and try to provide Medicaid clients with better access to health care, especially those with chronic illnesses such as diabetes. The system is being implemented in phases. Switching to managed care is mandatory for most clients during the first phase, which covers medical care, such as doctors.

Three companies are offering plans: Meridian Health Plan, New Hampshire Healthy Families and Well Sense Health Plan. State officials said all Medicaid recipients should now have their health plan identification cards.

Last month, Senate Republicans rejected plans to extend Medicaid coverage to an estimated 49,000 poor adults under President Obama’s health care overhaul law, but lawmakers are expected to consider the issue again next year.

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