Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, which manages thousands of the state’s Medicaid patients, has found a way to bring down health costs for some of its highest need patients. The organization’s chief medical officer Paco Trilla says the Health@Home program targeted about 450 patients with multiple chronic conditions. They were using a lot of medical services, but not getting better.                

On Tuesday, two Rhode Island House committees will take another close look at Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposed budgets for Medicaid and the state’s health and human services agency. The Senate heard similar proposals last week.

The hearings offer another opportunity for public testimony and committee members’ questions before the budgets hit the full House and Senate for consideration.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Physician, educator and talk-show host Pablo Rodriguez joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the uptick in state revenue; the battle over Medicaid spending; whether lawmakers have done enough to respond to the misuse of campaign contributions; and the PawSox.

Health care workers rallied at the Rhode Island Statehouse today to call for better wages. The Service Employees International Union has concerns about budget cuts for Medicaid.

The union represents about 4000 nurses, CNAs, and service employees who work in nursing homes and hospitals. The union has issued a list of proposals it says could help the state trim millions of dollars from Medicaid and boost pay for low wage workers.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Mark and Dave speak to Virginia Burke, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Healthcare Association, which represents nursing homes. The group has questioned a plan to cut millions of dollars in state Medicaid spending.

Burke tells Mark and Dave that cuts to Medicaid would likely lead to layoffs for nursing home staff, which could degrade the quality of patient care.


A new poll shows that Rhode Islanders expect stronger political leadership over the next few years, although many still feel the state is going in the wrong direction. The poll was commissioned by the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant University.

43 percent of respondents say the state is going in the wrong direction. Yet 54 percent expect elected officials to provide strong leadership moving forward.

For Rhode Island’s top problem, 30 percent of respondents cite job opportunities, 19 percent point to taxes, and 14 percent identify corruption.

A group of 29 Rhode Islanders, from health care providers to policy experts and lawmakers, has been convening for several months to come up with a plan to find $90 million dollars in savings from Medicaid. (Wonk note: That $90 million is just state dollars. The budget proposal calls for cutting more than $180 million, some of which is federal matching dollars.). That was at the behest of Gov. Gina Raimondo, who asked for help closing a nearly $200 million dollar state budget deficit.

Here’s a deeper look at some of the 34 initiatives they’ve proposed to do that.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Today is the due date for a plan to cut nearly $180 million dollars from Medicaid. Half of that is state funding, the other matching federal dollars. To close a burgeoning state budget gap, Gov. Gina Raimondo has proposed cutting hospital and nursing home payments. Her “Reinvent Medicaid” task force delivers its recommendations today for finding the rest of the savings in the state’s health insurance program for the poor. Their proposals are aimed at reducing the cost of caring for some of the most complex patients.

Patients like Juana Kollie.

RIPR file photo

Lawmakers have begun the process of estimating how much money the state can spend in 2016 (through the Revenue and Caseload Estimating Conference).  They’ll hear a series of presentations over the next couple of weeks on projected revenues and spending so far this year. They use the information as they consider Gov. Gina Raimondo’s proposed budget.

As Gov. Gina Raimondo's "Reinvent Medicaid" task force rockets toward the finish line, having recently spelled out more details about how the group recommends finding nearly $90 million dollars in savings from the program, they bring with them plenty of vocal feedback from health care stakeholders around the state. One hospital system, Care New England, has been a more dominant voice at the table, with the group's leader, Dennis Keefe, co-chairing the task force. The voice of the state's largest hospital system, Lifespan, has been less audible.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello joins Bonus Q+A to discuss the PawSox' proposal for a Providence stadium; state efforts to curb Medicaid spending; the state of ethics reform at the Statehouse; and much more.

You can hear more of our conversation with Speaker Mattiello on Political Roundtable.

Members of Gov. Gina Raimondo's Reinvent Medicaid task force huddled for hours Wednesday to go over nearly three dozen initiatives designed to save Medicaid money. Their goal: find $90 million dollars in savings for Medicaid, the state's medical assistance program for the poor.

Here's a run down of where the effort is headed, straight from the fourth floor board room at CCRI in Warwick, where the meeting was held.

As anticipated, the biggest savings are projected to come from institutional health care providers.


State lawmakers heard testimony Wednesday on several proposals to cut Medicaid spending. Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposed budget would cut state payments to nursing homes by three percent. 

That’s on top of rates that have stayed stagnant for a while.  Woonsocket nursing home administrator Shaun Cournoyer testified before the senate finance committee those cuts would lead to layoffs. 

Lawmakers begin hearings today on proposed cuts to Medicaid, the state’s medical assistance program for the poor.

Gov. Gina Raimondo has asked a task force to recommend ways to trim $90 million dollars in state spending on Medicaid. The senate finance committee is scheduled to hear testimony about several budget proposals that would cut payments to hospitals and nursing homes.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In less than a month, a task force appointed to find nearly $180 million dollars in savings from Medicaid must deliver their recommendations to the governor.