Georgia Medicaid agency asking to add oversight workers

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Intermediate

Words and phrases

initiative
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ɪˈnɪʃətɪv
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a plan or a program to solve a specific problem by a government or organization
oversight
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ˈoʊvɚˌsaɪt
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watching a person, group, or company work to make sure things are happening properly, especially to make sure money is being spent the correct way
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ATLANTA – The government agency that runs Georgia’s Medicaid program is asking for $7.2 million for a new [.fow1-1]initiative[.fow1-1] aimed at improving [.fow1-2]oversight[.fow1-2] of the private companies that manage health care for Georgians who receive Medicaid.

initiative
/
ɪˈnɪʃətɪv
/
a plan or a program to solve a specific problem by a government or organization
oversight
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ˈoʊvɚˌsaɪt
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watching a person, group, or company work to make sure things are happening properly, especially to make sure money is being spent the correct way
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fund
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ˈfʌnd
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an amount of money that is available for a special purpose
budget
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ˈbʌʤət
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a plan for how money will be spent for a purpose or period of time
“Budget needs” or “requests” means a company needs or wants a certain amount of money to do their work for the next year.
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The Georgia Board of Community Health voted Thursday to apply for the [.fow2-1]funds[.fow2-1] as part of the Department of Community Health’s (DCH) 2024 mid-year [.fow2-2]budget[.fow2-2] request.

Most of the money would go toward adding 49 positions to give the department the ability to guess where the Medicaid program is headed rather than having to wait to see the [.fow2-2]budget[.fow2-2] needs each year, DCH Chief Operating Officer Joe Hood told board members before Thursday’s vote.

“We'd like to be looking at trends in advance, not just on the back end,” he said.

With Georgia sitting on a lot of extra money, Gov. Brian Kemp has given agencies across the government the ability to ask for increases of 3% in their 2024 mid-year and 2025 [.fow2-2][.fow2-2]budget requests.

“This is our first opportunity in some time to ask for new [.fow2-1]funds[.fow2-1],” Hood said.

The new [.fow1-2]oversight[.fow1-2] [.fow1-1]initiative[.fow1-1] comes as the DCH prepares to select private care management organizations (CMOs) to run Georgia’s Medicaid program. The increase in workers is aimed at helping the agency make the right choices.

“We [aren't given enough money] for a state of our size for our CMOs,” Hood said.

Meanwhile, the DCH also is asking for $1.3 million in its 2025 [.fow2-2]budget[.fow2-2] for 7% pay raises for employees in the agency’s Healthcare Facility Regulation Division, which is responsible for hospitals and nursing homes.

Hood said the raises would help reduce staff quitting.

“We need to be closer to the market [prices],” he said. “This gives us some opportunity to do that.

”Finally, the board is suggesting to reduce next year's DCH [.fow2-2]budget[.fow2-2] by $1.4 million, which would come from spending less on non-government contracts.

fund
/
ˈfʌnd
/
an amount of money that is available for a special purpose
budget
/
ˈbʌʤət
/
a plan for how money will be spent for a purpose or period of time
“Budget needs” or “requests” means a company needs or wants a certain amount of money to do their work for the next year.
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spending
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ˈspɛndɪŋ
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the amount of money a government or organization spends
A “spending increase” means they have planned to spend more money in their next budget.
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Other than allowing 3% [.fow3-1]spending[.fow3-1] increases, Kemp’s [.fow2-2]budget[.fow2-2] instructions also asked state agencies to look for ways to cut their [.fow3-1]spending[.fow3-1] by 1%.

The governor will present his [.fow2-2]budget[.fow2-2] requests to the General Assembly in January.

spending
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ˈspɛndɪŋ
/
the amount of money a government or organization spends
A “spending increase” means they have planned to spend more money in their next budget.
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