A Medicaid redesign by West Virginia that aimed to give recipients individual choices and responsibility had unintended consequences, according to a recent report by George Mason University's Mercatus Center.
The Mountain Health Choices program, which the state ended in 2010, was supposed to reduce the number of hospital emergency room visits for nonemergencies. But the program resulted in more Medicaid recipients seeking care at emergency rooms, the report said.
"Ultimately, this program wound up costing us money, not saving us money," House Health and Human Resources Chairman Don Perdue told the Charleston Gazette. "What's frustrating is almost everyone at the time said this was a bad idea, that it wouldn't work, but the administration at the time just refused to change course. They wouldn't even consider changing course."