The dean of the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business has apologized for the release of a study – reported in The State – that concluded proposed cuts to the state’s Medicaid program could mean more than 5,000 lost jobs throughout the state.
In a letter to Department of Health and Human Services director Tony Keck, Moore School dean Hildy Teegen said the study was a “work-in-process” and a staff member mistakenly released it.
Health and Human Services is paying for the Moore School study.
“We are saddened that our preliminary analysis was accessed and released prematurely,” Teegen wrote. “We are certain that the integrity of our analysis has not been, nor will be, impacted in any way by this unfortunate circumstance.”
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Keck, who has said a proposed $125 million cut in payments to doctors and hospitals will not result in any net job losses, criticized the study’s methodology last week. The study did not use the current federal matching rate, he said, and assumed that every Medicaid dollar was spent in South Carolina. The state-run health care program for the poor and disabled often purchases medical products, a hip replacement for instance, from out-of-state suppliers, he said.
Keck also complained the school had not discussed the study’s conclusion prior to its release.
Teegen said the school would collaborate with the agency.
“We will continue to refine our analysis based upon open, objective, and critical dialogue with you and your colleagues within DHHS,” Teegen wrote, “such that we can jointly release this important work for review by the public in the near future.”
House Democrats have seized on the study to oppose the Medicaid cuts included in the proposed House budget for the state’s budget year that begins July 1, and also a proposed 3 percent rate cut in payments to doctors and hospitals that Health and Human Services wants to enact for the final quarter of the state’s current budget.