SC Medicaid director touts agency savings


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's Medicaid director says his agency's savings initiatives are allowing tens of millions of dollars to be spent on the state's many other needs.

Under the Department of Health and Human Services' preliminary budget request last fall, the escalating cost of Medicaid would have eaten up every dollar of additional revenue currently projected to come into state coffers next fiscal year.

But Gov. Nikki Haley's executive budget proposal recommends spending about $40 million less on Medicaid than that initial request.

Director Tony Keck told the House budget-writing committee Thursday that won't be a problem. He says he's saving money through initiatives that include stopping unnecessary early deliveries and lowering administrative rates to managed care organizations.

His presentation comes as Democrats call for expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.

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