Medicaid Managed Care Oversight Advisory Committee (HB 785)

 

<MeetMDY1> February 5, 2002

 

The<MeetNo2> Medicaid Managed Care Oversight Advisory Committee (HB 785) met on<Day> Tuesday,<MeetMDY2> February 5, 2002, at<MeetTime> 4:45 PM, in<Room> Room 131 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Vernie McGaha, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.

 

Present were:

 

Members:<Members> Senator Vernie McGaha, Co-Chair; Representative Paul Bather, Co-Chair; Senators Walter Blevins† and Johnny Turner; Representatives James Bruce, Jack Coleman, and Dottie Sims.

 

LRC Staff:† Barbara Baker, Eric Clark, and Cindy Smith.

 

The minutes of the November 28, 2001 meeting were approved without objection.

 

First, there was going to be a presentation from David Veile, Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Community Health.† However, the Governor of Michigan called upon him to make a presentation before the Michigan legislature, so he was unable to come to Kentucky.

 

Therefore, the only presentation† was a focus on preventive health, by Dr. Rice Leach, Commissioner, Department for Public Health. Dr. Leach talked about the value of preventive health programs in improving the health of Kentucky citizens and decreasing the costs of health care for Medicaid. Dr. Leach said Kentuckians are not terribly healthy in many respects.† Many national measures demonstrate that not only are Kentuckians unhealthy but are getting worse over time in spite of major improvements in tuberculosis, immunizations, and infant mortality. If these conditions can be eliminated or reduced, then it is reasonable to expect declines in the rate of demand for medical care and a decline in the increased costs of that care.

Dr. Leach noted that the conditions that afflict Kentuckians are present in many other people in the United States, but they are not as prevalent elsewhere. Kentuckiansí rates of heart disease are among the highest in the country, and Kentucky men are the most likely in the country to die from lung cancer.†† Both adults and children in Kentucky are among the most likely in the country to be sedentary and, too many babies are being born with low birth weight. Many Kentuckians are overweight and do not eat properly.† The rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes have nearly doubled in recent years. The epidemic of obesity in Kentucky and the United States is going to cost a fortune in the near future if something is not done to reverse the trend.† It does not have to be this way if people will change their habits. Losing weight, eating differently, and exercising more are significantly less expensive than treating a chronic disease and its complications for years.

 

Medical science suggests that Kentucky could reduce the demand for services for chronic diseases and elderly care if diabetes, heart disease, and cancer were reduced as a result of improved diets, more exercise, and less smoking among younger people.† If the public health education objectives of† bills introduced by the General Assembly were incorporated into life style changes, the long-term impact on obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart disease would be to reduce the impact of these conditions on everyone.

 

Representative Bather said there are public funds that would be available through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to try to move Medicaid, as well as other private and public health plans, into a more cost effective way of blending prevention and treatment.†

 

The meeting was adjourned at 5:32 p.m.