The Health Department will eliminate bone marrow transplants for adults, reduce medical services and tighten eligibility standards for Medicaid and the Utah Medical Assistance Program. And 3,000 adults will either lose their Medicaid eligibility or not be able to enroll.
The cuts, effective July 1, will eliminate about $3 million in state funds ($7.6 million including federal matching funds) from medical programs for low-income people. The Legislature increased the Medicaid budget by $10 million, but the money was targeted to specific federally mandated programs, so several other programs will be reduced or dropped."We do this reluctantly, but these actions are imperative to stay within the budget for '92," said Ed Furia, assistant director of Health Care Financing, which administers Medicaid and other low-income medical programs.
The state will save about $54,500 by eliminating bone marrow transplants for adults. Each year, Furia said, the state pays for one or two Medicaid recipients to have marrow transplants, which "have not been very successful." The department originally said it would stop funding liver transplants as well, but an improving success rate saved that program.
Children will be able to get kidney, cornea, liver, bone marrow and heart transplants. Adults will continue to be covered for kidney, liver and cornea transplants.
Income eligibility for the Utah Medical Assistance Program will drop from $337 a month to $289, eliminating about 300 people.
"There will be a smaller scope of services and the $50 spenddown (the amount over income eligibility which could be paid to the state in exchange for medical services) will be gone," said Kent Ronier, Health Care Financing budget director for Medicaid programs.
Because Primary Children's Medical Center provides services for a specialized population - children - Medicaid has paid a higher rate for services performed there. That will change under the new budget, saving the state $250,000.
The state will pay less for vision, speech and audiology services for Medicaid recipients and will pay hospitals less to care for UMAP patients.
Participants in the Medically Needy Program won't receive vision, hearing, speech, dental, physical therapy or podiatry services. A $2 per patient case management fee for doctors will be stopped.