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Virginia JLARC Issues Report on Medicaid Spending Management

This week, our In Focus section comes to us from HMA Principal Barbara Markham Smith, JD, of our Washington, DC office. On December 12, 2016, Virginia’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC), the audit arm of the General Assembly, issued findings from its two-year review of the Department of Medical Assistance Service’s (DMAS’s) management of the Medicaid program. In a review of DMAS’s performance that largely foreshadows Medicaid reforms to be implemented in 2017-2018, JLARC notes that inflation-adjusted Medicaid spending in Virginia, per enrollee, remained essentially flat from FY2011 to FY2015. Program spending increases came from growing enrollment due to expanded outreach activities and the addition of new waiver slots for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The growth in total spending (as opposed to per capita spending), amounted to average annual cost increases of 8.9 percent over the past 10 years. Services for individuals with disabilities accounted for the lion’s share of cost increases, according to a budget report released earlier this year. Medicaid spending accounted for 22 percent of Virginia’s general fund budget in FY2016. 

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