Skip to content Skip to navigation

Missouri Governor Nixon pitches Medicaid Expansion, but legislators refuse and providers struggle

February 11, 2014
by Dennis Grantham, Editor-in-Chief
| Reprints

Last week, on a visit to Burrell Behavioral Health in Columbia, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon made a pitch for Medicaid expansion and cited the benefits of increasing access to mental health services.

But only the day before, the Missouri Senate soundly defeated an attempt to expand Medicaid eligibility to the estimated 300,000 uninsured, low-income adults in the state. Read the source article at Columbia Daily Tribune

And, at about the same time, mental health consumers let it be known that they were unhappy to hear of the closure of outpatient mental health services by Hannibal Regional Healthcare System. Julie Leverenz, a VP at Hannibal Regional, says the closure is the result of a complicated array of circumstances ... Missouri's decision not to expand Medicaid ... challenges with the Affordable Care Act ... and declining reimbursements.

Missouri stands to gain some $2 billion in funding from the Medicaid expansion, but unless conservative legislators accept go along with Medicaid expansion, the state's providers will continue to be pinched by increased demand for outpatient services, a limited pool of mental health funding, and a shrinking pool of disproportionate share funding for indigent psychiatric admissions.