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Governor to Hold Listening Sessions on Medical Assistance
September 4, 2005

In an August 29 press release Governor Edward G. Rendell announced that the administration would conduct listening sessions this fall across Pennsylvania to gather ideas on ways to control Medical Assistance (MA) spending, improve MA services, and increase quality of care in preparation for the July 2006 fiscal year. Federal financial support for the MA program is expected to decrease, while the need for services continues to increase. Governor Rendell has stated that an annual loss of up to $1 billion in federal funding for MA is anticipated over the next five years. He is looking for ways to ameliorate these problems and continue to provide needed services.

During these meetings a panel of administration representatives and legislative leaders will focus on short-term strategies for 2006/07 and long-term strategies to contain costs and increase efficiency in providing care and services. National experts will be included to present information on strategies that other states have used. Local stakeholders are asked to present ideas and possible solutions. Written testimony can be submitted and must be received one week prior to the scheduled meeting. Written testimony should be no longer than five double-spaced pages and should include the desired location to be attended; name; professional affiliation, if any; and daytime telephone number and email address. Testimony can be submitted to cfruhwirth@state.pa.us, by fax to 717-787-1229 (attn: MA Panels), or by mail to Welfare Communications Office, PO Box 2675, Harrisburg, PA, 17105. Oral testimony will be presented as time permits.

Meetings are scheduled in September and October across Pennsylvania. Tentative meeting dates are: September 22 in Philadelphia; September 23 in Pittsburgh; September 29 in Allentown; September 30 in Scranton; October 6 in State College; October 7 in Somerset; October 14 in Erie; and on October 28 a special session on long-term care and behavioral health in Harrisburg. Details on registration and specific locations will be available soon.

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