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TennCare

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It may be many months before 3,000 more Tennessee children with severe disabilities get state-funded health coverage. The program, known as the Katie Beckett waiver, allows middle- and upper-income families to qualify for TennCare.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

In modern medicine, the mind and body typically stay on two separate tracks. But it's hard to maintain physical health while suffering from mental conditions.

So Medicaid programs, which insure low-income people, have tried to blend caring for the physical and mental needs of patients, with the hope that it might also save money.

courtesy Kaiser Health News

Tennessee is angling to be the first state to switch its Medicaid program to a "block grant," a lump sum to provide health care to those with low income. 

But it's a tradeoff. The state would get wide latitude to run its Medicaid program as it sees fit, but it would also shoulder new risk.

Sergio Martinez-Beltran / WPLN

The Tennessee House has voted to use additional tax revenue from online shopping to expand Medicaid for a small but desperate group of patients. But the idea still faces some hurdles, including questions from the state Senate.

The House approved a state budget Wednesday that includes $27 million so children with severe disabilities can be covered by the state's Medicaid program, even if their parents make too much money to qualify otherwise.

White House photographer Michael Evans / courtesy Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

There's a very real possibility that the Tennessee legislature will vote to expand Medicaid this year, though not to cover the working poor. Rather, this expansion is meant to rescue middle-class and upper-income families from financial ruin, as they care for children with severe disabilities.

courtesy TennCare

For the first time, Tennesseans have a way to directly apply for Medicaid online. Over the weekend, TennCare Connect went live, allowing residents to fill out forms and upload documents at a new website or with a smartphone app.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

A proposed change to how Tennessee's Medicaid program is funded by the federal government has some health care advocates worried. The state could be one of the first to ask for a so-called "block grant" to pay for the health care of low-income residents.

courtesy Office of Inspector General

Gov. Bill Lee wants to nearly double the size of TennCare's fraud unit.

He proposed the expansion during this week's State of the State address as part of a way to cut health care costs.

courtesy TennCare

Tennessee's Medicaid program is poised to go live with its biggest computer system upgrade to date, one that was supposed to be ready in October 2013.

When it starts up this spring, it'll make the process to apply for TennCare mostly automated for the first time.

courtesy AF.mil

Tennessee's new rules on prescribing opioids are resulting in substantial cash savings for the state. TennCare says it paid $15 million less last year because fewer painkiller prescriptions are being filled.

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