The number of Medicaid beneficiaries in managed-care plans jumped 63% to 7.8 million in the past year, HHS reported last week.
Managed-care plans now serve Medicaid recipients in 44 states. The growth in Medicaid managed care reflects higher enrollment in HMOs and primary-care case management programs, in which physicians contract with a state to provide primary care to specific beneficiaries and to coordinate referrals to specialists or hospitals.
HMOs also contract with a state to provide all or part of the Medicaid benefits package on a prepaid risk basis.
About 23% of the nearly 34 million Medicaid recipients receive some form of managed care, up from 14%, or 4.8 million, in 1993.
More than 1.6 million people joined managed-care programs through state healthcare reform demonstration programs, which typically expand Medicaid eligibility.