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2005 Testimony

Testimony Before The House Human Services Committee

Clara Sue Price, Chairman

Regarding House Bill 1460 - Medicaid program reporting

January 25, 2005

Chairman Price, members of the committee, I am Curtis Volesky, Director of Medicaid Eligibility for the Department of Human Services. I am here in support of HB 1249.

This bill is a result of recommendations made by the Medicaid Working Group appointed by Governor Hoeven. The Department did provide information to this group, but did not participate in the deliberations; nor were we involved in developing the recommendations presented in the report of this group.

The bill would require the Department to provide a yearly report to the Legislative Council that would include an analysis of the number of recipients receiving services, the cost of those services, and a comparison of requested and approved budget to actual expenditures. It would include a comparison with other surrounding states. The Department would utilize actuarial tools to accomplish this requirement including projections and trends for five-year periods in the future, and would be used by the Legislative Council to monitor program policies and appropriations.

Section 2 appropriates a total of $350,000 to the Department to obtain the necessary actuarial services needed to carry out the intent of this bill.

The Department does employ an actuarial firm to review expenditures in order to establish rates for the managed care plan with Noridian Mutual Insurance Company. Accountants within the fiscal unit carry out budget preparation and analysis with assistance from my staff. The budget process involves the review of past expenditures to attempt to predict future costs but does not use actuarial analysis to build the Medicaid grant budget.

The Executive budget does not contain any funds for this activity, and therefore additional dollars would need to be added to the budget in order for us to contract for these services. It is likely that 50% federal funding would be available to implement the provisions of this bill.

I would be happy to respond to any questions you may have.


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