Kaiser Family Foundation: Medicaid enrollment, spending rises; growth will continue
WASHINGTON Due to the nation’s deep recession, states experienced rapid growth in their Medicaid enrollment and spending last year and expect additional growth, though at a slower pace, in fiscal year 2011, according to a survey of state Medicaid officials in all 50 states released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.
States reported an average increase in Medicaid spending of 8.8% across all states in fiscal year 2010, the highest rate of growth in eight years and well above their original projections of 6.3% growth. Medicaid directors attributed the unexpected jump to higher-than-expected increases in eligible families due to the recession, which pushed the national unemployment rate above 10% and even higher rates in some states.
For fiscal year 2011 (which runs through June 2011), states budgeted for an average 7.4% increase in spending above fiscal year 2010 –– a slightly slower rate of growth consistent with their expectations that enrollment growth will slow to 6.1%, according to the annual survey of state Medicaid directors.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided a temporary boost in the federal government’s share of Medicaid costs, providing an estimated $87 billion to states starting in October 2008. ARRA’s increased federal Medicaid support was originally scheduled to end December 2010, but in August, Congress enacted additional relief for states through June 2011 at a reduced level, providing $16 billion over six months.
“The recession swamped state budgets and Medicaid programs, but with the extra federal aid, Medicaid helped millions of additional people as intended during tough times,” stated Diane Rowland, EVP of the Kaiser Family Foundation and executive director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. “Looking ahead, states will face new challenges as the federal aid winds down and as they prepare for health reform.”
Aseparate KCMU report released Thursday found that Medicaid enrollment increased by nearly 6 million people between the start of the recession in December 2007 and December 2009. In December 2009, 48.5 million people were enrolled in state Medicaid programs, an increase of 1.6 million over June 2009 and 3.7 million over December 2008, an annual growth rate of 8.2%. State-by-state totals included in the Medicaid enrollment report show every state experienced a year-to-year increase.
Teva receives complete response letter for Neutroval
JERUSALEM The Food and Drug Administration declined to approve a Teva biosimilar, the generic drug maker said Thursday.
Teva said it received a complete response letter from the FDA concerning Neutroval (filgrastim), for neutropenia in patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer. The FDA issues complete response letters when it needs additional information before it can approve a drug.
Neutroval is a biosimilar of Amgen’s Neupogen and is marketed in Europe under the name TevaGrastim.
GSK halts Simplirix trial
LONDON British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline has stopped a late-stage trial of a vaccine for genital herpes, citing disappointing results, GSK said Thursday.
The company said that while the vaccine Simplirix (herpes simplex vaccine) proved to be safe when administered to women as a prevention for genital herpes disease, it did not prevent infection. GSK had been conducting the phase 3 trial in 8,323 women ages 18 to 30 years in the United States and Canada under a partnership with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.
“We would like to express our gratitude toward our partner, [the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases], for [its] proactive collaboration and substantial contribution in the program, and the volunteers for their participation in the study,” GSK VP and director for late clinical development Gary Dubin said.