Consultant hired to help recommend Medicaid reforms

The state health department has hired a consultant to help recommend next steps as the administration plans to implement Medicaid expansion and looks to make further changes to the existing Medicaid program.

The contract calls for a report in January recommending alternative Medicaid expansion models and options to help contain costs within the Medicaid program. A report due next spring would address a timeline and costs for carrying out the recommendations.

The department says it plans to build on reform efforts already underway. As it stands, Alaska’s Medicaid program is widely seen as unsustainable.

Gov. Bill Walker last week announced his plans to accept federal money for Medicaid expansion after lawmakers earlier this year tabled his proposal to expand and make changes to the program.