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Governor: Pennsylvania launches Medicaid expansion
The New York Times
The state of Pennsylvania has launched an expansion of the Medicaid health insurance program, Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said in a statement on Monday. "Today is the first step toward simplifying a complicated process and ensuring hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians have greater access to the health insurance they need," said Wolf, who ousted Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in November's election.
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Q&A on achieving mental health parity in Medicaid managed care
Kaiser Health News
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 is viewed as a landmark step in improving patients' access to mental health services. The effort was bolstered in 2010 by the Affordable Care Act. The bottom line: Individual and group insurance plans that choose to offer mental health coverage now must do so at a level equal to that of medical coverage.
Arkansas' 1st-in-the-nation Medicaid expansion survives
The Associated Press via Yahoo News
Arkansas' first-in-the-nation program using federal funds to buy private health insurance for the poor will survive another year after the Legislature reauthorized the program Thursday, despite an influx of new Republican lawmakers elected on a vow to kill the hybrid Medicaid expansion.
Alternative plan for Kansas Medicaid expansion introduced
Kansas Health Institute
An alternative plan to expand Medicaid loaded with elements meant to woo Republicans has been introduced in Kansas. But it could face the same difficult political climate that killed similar bills in other states last week. Rep. Tom Sloan said Monday that the proposal introduced by the Vision 2020 Committee he chairs represents a Kansas solution that can appeal even to those who campaigned on unwavering opposition to the federal health care reforms spearheaded by President Barack Obama.
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Medicaid expansion in jeopardy in 2 red states
The Washington Post
Efforts in two Western states to accept hundreds of millions in federal funds to expand Medicaid are running into roadblocks with conservative lawmakers, in spite of Republican governors who back the expansions.
In Wyoming, the state Senate voted, 19-11, against expanding health coverage to about 17,600 low-income, uninsured residents. Moments after the vote, a state House committee said it would no longer consider its own version of Medicaid expansion, effectively killing any hopes this year. Utah lawmakers will begin considering their own Medicaid expansion proposal this week in Salt Lake City. Republicans will meet behind closed doors on Tuesday, The Salt Lake Tribune reported, while House GOP leaders say they still want to negotiate with Gov. Gary Herbert.
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Senate President leaning toward supporting Healthy Utah
For the moment, GOP Gov. Gary Herbert has valuable ally in the Healthy Utah-Medicaid expansion legislative battle. Senate President Wayne Niederhauser said he wants to "fund the gap" in Medicaid expansion. And the only plan that does that presently is Herbert's Healthy Utah — reflected in a bill just introduced by Sen. Brian Shiozawa. That is S.B. 164.
Governor's panel again urges Medicaid expansion in Idaho
Members of the governor-appointed group that developed options for expanding Medicaid to cover Idaho's poorest adults told lawmakers Thursday that opposition to the expansion has blocked money that taxpayers are due under federal healthcare reform. The panel's alternative funding plan provides greater accountability, saves money and gives the state more control over how funds are spent, they said. The federal government already has approved similar alternative plans in other states where Medicaid expansion has been politically or ideologically unpopular.
AFP takes aim at Montana Medicaid growth
Great Falls Tribune
About 50 people packed into the small meeting room at the Dillon Town Hall on Feb. 2. They came to take part in a "healthcare town hall," but over the course of the next two hours, what they actually took part in was a heated debate over one of the biggest issues facing lawmakers during the 2015 legislative session — whether to use federal dollars to expand healthcare coverage to an additional 70,000 low-income Montanans.
On one side of the debate was Zach Lahn, the man who managed Republican Sen. Steve Daines' 2012 congressional campaign and later served as his state director. Lahn is now the director of the Montana chapter of the Americans for Prosperity, the group that hosted Monday's meeting and two others like it across the state last week.
AFP is the Kansas-based conservative advocacy group that was founded by the billionaire Koch brothers. AFP spent more than $22 million in the last election cycle targeting House and Senate Democrats across the country who supported the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
North Carolina governor hedges on Medicaid expansion, supports reform in State of the State speech
North Carolina Health News
Although Medicaid comprises close to $4 billion of North Carolina's $21 billion budget, Gov. Pat McCrory mentioned the program that covers more than 1.7 million low-income children, their parents, seniors and people with disabilities only once during his 80-minute State of the State speech on Wednesday evening at the General Assembly.
Medicaid could dump 500,000 Ohioans in 6 months
The Columbus Dispatch
The state of Ohio will send out letters to 107,000 Medicaid recipients telling them that their healthcare benefits will be terminated on Feb. 28 for failure to verify their income. "They should consider this as a final notice," said Sam Rossi, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Medicaid. "There is personal responsibility. You need to report income for a program like Medicaid."
Growth in Medicaid costs a budget-cutting dilemma for
Rhode Island Assembly
Rhode Island faces a very human, budget-cutting dilemma as it tries to close a projected deficit that has been estimated at anywhere from $166.6 million to $200 million. The dilemma: One-fourth of Rhode Island's residents receive Medicaid. The last time anyone counted, Rhode Island's cost per Medicaid enrollee was 31 percent higher than the national average, at $9,541 per person.
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Did you miss Webinar Wednesday: 'Engage Moms on Mobile Devices: How Smartphone Apps Can Improve Maternal Health'?
Download the presentation by Wildflower Health and other past webinars here.
NDEP Webinar: 'Population Health Management: Improving Health Where We Live, Work, and Play' | Feb. 24 | noon-1 p.m. ET
National Diabetes Education Program
Healthcare costs continue to soar, outpacing inflation and taking up increasingly larger portions of business, government and consumer budgets. But while costs are rising, overall health and well-being are declining. A population health management approach considers health quality and costs beyond the clinical setting to integrate health information, management and support into people's daily lives. Join the CDC's National Diabetes Education Program in this webinar that will show you a different way to think about health and wellness on the job and in the community.
Feb. 25 Webinar Wednesday: 'Health Plans Leave Money on the Table When They Fail to Effectively Audit, Track Rx Drug Claims'
The total cost of overpayments and fraud, waste and abuse (FWA) in the prescription drug claims arena can be significant. Discuss techniques that health plans and pharmacy benefit management companies can consider to root out FWA and audit for claims processing inefficiencies.
MHPA's Myers joins keynote health plan panel at Medicaid Managed Care Leadership Summit | Feb. 24-25 | Alexandria, VA
World Congress and MHPA
Hear from CMS, national health plans and seven state offices. Topics include expansion, long term care, dual eligibles and more!
MHPA members: Save $300 with promo code MHPA400. Register here, or call 800-767-9499. For more info, visit the website here.
MHPA's Myers to chair WHCC 4th Annual Medicaid and Medicare Reform Summit | March 2015 | Washington, DC
MHPA President and CEO Jeff Myers will chair the WHCC 4th Annual Medicaid and Medicare Reform Summit, a meeting that convenes executives from health plans, hospital systems and policy organizations to share, learn and discuss approaches to improve the quality of government programs and achieve payment and delivery reform. For conference details, agenda and registration, please visit here.
Job opportunity: Physician contract negotiator | Chicago
Negotiates, re-negotiates and executes physician and/or provider contracts in accordance with company standards in order to maintain and enhance provider networks while meeting and exceeding accessibility, quality and financial goals. Medicaid and Medicare contracting experience strongly preferred.
Job opportunity: Clinical director, Homecare & Managed Care
First Quality, a leading manufacturer of disposable home health care products, is seeking a clinical director for our Homecare & Managed Care Business. This candidate will provide leadership and have a focus on clinical education, utilization management protocols and programs and operational program development within home care and managed care markets.
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