February 2000 Bulletin

Managed care major issue in 2000

Managed care will continue to be a major issue in state legislatures this year, with 44 states reporting they will consider some type of managed care regulation, according to the annual survey of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Thirty-three of those states say they will consider legislation to expand liability for managed care plans; much of this is unfinished business from 1999 when liability bills were introduced in 35 states, but passed in only two, says a report in the Health Care Policy Report of the Bureau of National Affairs.

The NCSL survey of legislative priorities found that while managed care is still high on the states’ agendas, lawmakers will focus more attention on helping the uninsured in 2000. Thirty-one states plan to take up measures to help the uninsured and the indigent, while 28 states are looking at basic benefit packages to provide health coverage for the working poor. Twenty-nine states will take up measures to help elderly people buy or gain access to prescription medications.

Other major health care issues include quality of care which will be debated in 27 states.

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