LINCOLN – Medicaid Expansion was passed in the last election but it won’t be ready until October of next year. Governor Pete Ricketts says that there is a long list of things they have to do to accommodate the about 94,000 Nebraskans who will be added on to Medicaid.
He says they first have to build an enrollment system and since the state has, historically, struggled with big software projects like that it’s important to get it right. They also have to have technology changes with their managed care organizations.
We have three organizations that we subcontract out to take care of our medicaid patients, and they’ve all made the same changes to their technology so they have a lot of projects to do that as well, but we have to go out and get the providers to be able to take care of these folks, so for example if you think that 75% of the people in our medicaid system are mothers and their children well their primary need is pediatricians, well this new population is not gonna need pediatricians so we have to go out and get new providers to take care of them.
Hiring qualified professionals for the many new positions that will be added due to the medicaid expansion will be difficult as well, especially since Nebraska’s unemployment rate is so low.
Ricketts said that if they rush the process and get the Medicaid Expansion out too early they’ll run into problems that other states have run into like not having enough doctors and having unqualified people on Medicaid.