Whither Medicaid?

SAN FRANCISCO—Since Medicare can’t really change its payment mechanisms without an act of Congress and private health insurers generally don’t change until Medicare does, why hasn’t a state Medicaid program stepped up to the plate by offering incentives for health providers to install clinical information technology?

With Medicaid, there is more leeway to make significant changes because states set many of their own rules.

I asked this question of Dr. Bill Yasnoff, National Health Information Infrastructure coordinator at HHS. He was here for the international MedInfo conference this week.

“I’m baffled that the governor’s association doesn’t go to HHS with this,” Yasnoff said.

I can personally assure you that there will be more reporting on this topic. In the meantime, while I’m still here in California, I’d like to know why Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his counterparts across America are being such Medicaid girlie men.