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Blunt wants state to cover sickle cell costs

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Gov. Matt Blunt said Monday he wants to expand a state Medicaid program so it will be available to people with sickle cell anemia.

The state's Chronic Care Improvement Program already offers assistance to low-income and disabled residents who have chronic diseases like diabetes or asthma.

Blunt wants to add sickle cell, a blood disorder that primarily affects the black population.

The Chronic Care Improvement Program actually is part of the governor's proposed MO HealthNet which would replace the current Medicaid System.

Under the governor's plan, Medicaid-eligible patients with Sickle Cell have access to referrals, specialists, treatment centers.

The program will also include incentives for providers who work with patients to help them successfully manage their disease.

Approximately 1500 Missourians suffer from sickle cell, two-thirds of which live in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

MO Healthnet still has to get final approval from the General Assembly but Blunt says the Chronic Care Program will go forward regardless.