Lawmakers hold final Medicaid hearing, funding issues remain

Lawmakers hold final Medicaid hearing, funding issues remain

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Rising Medicaid costs have put Alabama in a funding hole.

On Wednesday, lawmakers held their last scheduled Medicaid hearing this summer to work through the problem.

Medicaid, the state's biggest agency, faces a shortfall of more than $85 million, and its costs continue to grow.

One problem is that if lawmakers don't fund the agency, it most likely would not solve the problem, according to medicaid commissioner Stephanie Azar.

Medicaid will likely need more money next year, which leads to the root of problem as Medicaid costs have skyrocketed over the last decade.

Azar says the state's best hope at controlling the costs would be to transition the state into a system of regional care organizations, which splits the state up into different regions and pays out funds based off the number of people in medicaid not the number of visits.

The catch? The program would need money to set up, which does not seem to be available. Without the funds or the transition, Medicaid is in a dire situation, according to Azar.

Her one hope for more funding this year would be a special session, and support from lawmakers.

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