April 7, 2015

We showed how North Carolina could save 325,000,000 state dollars in Medicaid if we achieved results like Louisiana’s managed care Medicaid plan.

Here are 2013 Medicaid spending and enrollment numbers for North Carolina, neighboring states and California. The enrollment number is from December 2013 compared to annual spending that year to provide an idea of spending per recipient.

State Spending Enrollment Spending per person

US $438,233,172,298 61,149,511 $7,166

CA $61,903,522,460 9,590,645 $6,454

FLA $18.561,488,841 3,603,561 $5,150

GA $8,960,367,262 1,736,905 $5,158

NC $11,915,039,901 1,699,903 $7,009

SC $4,906,583,617 844,564 $5,809

TN $8,716,487,022 1,356,284 $6,426

VA $7,291,109,038 957,110 $7,617

While California isn’t known as a state that ripped up the safety net, if we simply matched Tennessee’s spending, we would lower Medicaid spending by $991 million. If we achieved efficiencies like Florida, we’re looking at $3.1 billion in Medicaid savings.

Clearly, Legislators pushing a laundry list of spending better get serious about the 800 pound gorilla in the room-Medicaid. Both Tennessee and Florida use a managed care system to control costs. If they can do it and save money, why can’t North Carolina?