Hurricane Katrina: Allocation and Use of $2 Billion for Medicaid and Other Health Care Needs
In February 2006, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) appropriated $2 billion for certain health care costs related to Hurricane Katrina through Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was charged with allocating the $2 billion in funding to states directly affected by the hurricane or that hosted evacuees. GAO performed this work under the Comptroller General's statutory authority to conduct evaluations on his own initiative. In this report, GAO examined: (1) how CMS allocated the DRA funds to states, (2) the extent to which states have used DRA funds, and (3) whether selected states--Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas--anticipate the need for additional funds after DRA funds are expended. To conduct this review, GAO reviewed CMS's allocations of DRA funds to all eligible states, focusing in particular on the four selected states that had the highest initial allocation (released by CMS on March 29, 2006). GAO obtained data from Medicaid offices in the four selected states regarding their experiences enrolling individuals, providing services, and submitting claims; collected state Medicaid enrollment data; and analyzed DRA expenditure data that states submitted to CMS.