Medicaid Director Needs Flexibility, Officials Say

Attorney General Mike Moore says Mississippi law gives the executive director of Medicaid some flexibility to restructure the program as she sees fit.

Moore spoke Wednesday at a news conference with Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck.

Flexibility is one of the main things Gov. Ronnie Musgrove wants to bring Medicaid costs under control. He says legislative mandates make it too difficult for the rapidly growing health program to stay within its budget.

Flexibility has not yet been defined.

Lawmakers and a group of Medicaid providers and patients will work with Medicaid Executive Director Rica Lewis Payton to come up with specific ideas on saving money.

Musgrove, Moore and legislative leaders say they have worked together this week to head off a Medicaid money crisis, at least for a few months. Officials feared the program would be in bad shape when the new budget year starts July 1.