Lawmakers got tough on Medicaid, demanding more accountability after an audit this winter indicated that the state doesn't know exactly how much the joint insurance program with the federal government generates or where it goes.
Two bills requiring the state Department of Health to conduct audits in conjunction with area hospitals and clinics to be better track treatment costs were approved.
The get-tough approach eased a bit late Thursday when lawmakers put back coverage it had cut for about 10,000 pregnant women and critically ill or injured children enrolled in the low-income and disabled Utahns insurance plan, but only through 2011.
Outpatient therapies for disabled adults was also put back, in part because a jobs bill with roughly $50 million in federal funds was approved by Congress, which provides federal matching money to states.
Lawmakers may well have to meet in a special session to determine exactly how to spend the bulk of the appropriation. Hospitals will also be seeking Medicaid reimbursments improvements, a spokesman said Thursday.
— James Thalman
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