Bevin chooses Kentucky's new Medicaid commissioner

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has named a new Medicaid commissioner who will help the Republican as he attempts to revamp the state's Medicaid program.

Stephen Miller will oversee the program, which serves 1.3 million low-income people in the Bluegrass State.

“As we work to redesign the Medicaid program and transition it to a more affordable, sustainable model tailored to Kentucky's needs, it is important to have someone with a deep understanding of the healthcare industry leading the Department of Medicaid," Bevin said in a release.

Miller served as vice president of finance at the Kentucky Hospital Association for 24 years. He previously served as executive director of Ten Broeck Hospital in Louisville, chief operating officer of Our Lady of Peace Hospital in Louisville, chief financial officer of Our Lady of Peace Hospital in Louisville, and regional controller of American Healthcare Management in Dallas.

Bevin hasn't yet offered any ideas on how to change the Medicaid program, but has hinted that he'll use a 1332 federal waiver to implement something similar to Indiana's cost-sharing model.

The waiver is a provision of the Affordable Care Act that gives states permission to mold their own healthcare reform programs, as long as the number of those covered doesn't drop. States can apply for a 1332 waiver starting Jan. 1, 2017.

Bevin captured Kentucky's governorship last year and has since criticized his predecessor's expansion. Steve Beshear, a supporter of the ACA, expanded Medicaid to adults earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level. Bevin says Kentucky's traditional Medicaid has a $128 million shortfall.

Beshear also established kynect, a state-run insurance exchange, which Bevin wants to disband.

Many hospitals and doctors supported Beshear because the expanded insurance coverage equated to more payments and less charity care.

The expansion added an estimated 425,000 citizens to the rolls.

Michael Sandler

Michael Sandler does general assignment reporting as well as reporting on hospital system finances. He earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia College in Chicago in 2012 after earning a bachelor’s degree from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. Joined Modern Healthcare in 2013.

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