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MHPA contributes to trending Health Policy
Valentines on Twitter

Medscape (Free registration required)
"What's red and blue and affordable too? CHIP! It's time to renew!" That was the Twitter "valentine" posted by the American Academy of Pediatrics under the holiday-themed hashtag #healthpolicyvalentines.

Created spontaneously by a staffer at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services three years ago, the annual lovefest showcases humorous messages about healthcare policy in 140 characters or less. For a few days leading up to Valentine's Day, physicians, nurses, medical societies and healthcare policy wonks tweak current events and healthcare jargon into funny messages. There's a fair amount of duplication on references to Obamacare and "meaningful use," but the still-growing collection contains many clever and amusing entries.
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Iowa Medicaid managed-care plan details disclosed
The Des Moines Register
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad's plan to have private companies manage Medicaid would affect most of the 564,000 Iowans covered by the $4 billion program, administrators said Monday. The Department of Human Services released a formal "request for proposals" Monday afternoon. The idea is to have two to four managed-care companies oversee patients' care. Proponents say such an arrangement can help ensure that participants get the most effective, efficient care, which should help them avoid critical, expensive illnesses.
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Wyoming House Speaker says Medicaid dispute not over
The Associated Press via Casper Star-Tribune
A top Wyoming lawmaker says the debate over whether to expand the federal Medicaid system in the state this year isn't over yet. House Speaker Rep. Kermit Brown said House members will bring up amendments to a budget bill this week seeking to expand Medicaid to offer insurance coverage to thousands of low-income adults.
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Kentucky governor: Medicaid expansion will bring in $1B
The Hill
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is making his case for the state's expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, claiming the move will bring in $1 billion within seven years. Beshear, a two-time Democratic governor in a mostly red state, is looking to bury concerns that the growing costs of Medicaid would tank the state's budget.
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Analysis: Wisconsin Medicaid expansion could save as much as
$345 million

Wisconsin State Journal via St. Paul Pioneer Press
Wisconsin could save $345 million over the next two years if it adopts a full expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act, according to a new estimate prepared by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The revised estimate comes as the legislature gears up to consider Gov. Scott Walker's $68 billion biennial budget, which cuts $300 million from the University of Wisconsin System among other austerity measures in the face of a more than $2 billion shortfall.
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Ohio Medicaid members: We can pay Gov. Kasich's premiums
Cincinnati Enquirer
There are hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who enrolled in Medicaid starting in 2013, when Gov. John Kasich bypassed fellow Republicans in the legislature to expand the state healthcare program. Now, Kasich wants about 100,000 of Medicaid's better-off adults — those whose income reaches or surpasses the federal poverty level of $11,670 for a single adult — to pay a monthly premium on their insurance. Those premiums would likely average $20 a month, the governor's staff said.
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San Antonio leaders back private market alternative to Texas
Medicaid expansion

San Antonio Express-News
Local hospital leaders and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff are voicing support for a proposal to provide government subsidies to Texans falling into the Medicaid gap so they can buy health insurance. The proposal, known as the Texas Way coverage plan, is being touted as a private-market-based alternative to expanding Medicaid eligibility requirements. Supporters say the idea would require state and federal funding and could provide private health coverage to more than 1 million low-income Texans and 100,000 Bexar County residents shut out when Texas chose not to expand Medicaid.
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California's Medi-Cal program for poor grows to 12 million
The Associated Press via Charlotte Observer
Since California embraced the federal healthcare overhaul, the state's Medicaid program for the poor has added more than 2.7 million people, a surprisingly high number that has left the state to grapple with making sure there are enough doctors to care for all of them. Medi-Cal, the $95 billion joint federal-state program, covers 12 million people — nearly 1 in every 3 residents — for their doctor visits, hospital care, pregnancy-related services, as well as some nursing home care, making California the largest healthcare purchaser in the state.
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House GOP: Boost Vermont Medicaid payments but not with taxes
Vermont Public Radio
AudioBrief House Republican leaders say they support Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin's proposal to increase the state's Medicaid reimbursement rate, but they strongly oppose how the governor wants to pay for this plan. In his budget address, Shumlin urged lawmakers to deal with the growing problem of the Medicaid cost shift. This happens when healthcare providers are reimbursed by Medicaid at roughly 55 percent of the cost of their service. The remaining costs are then transferred over to private insurance premiums.
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Hillary Clinton calls for extending CHIP funding
The Hill
Hillary Clinton is pushing for Congress to reauthorize the federal government's child healthcare program, lending her support to congressional Democrats looking to keep the program around. Clinton, the presumed 2016 Democratic presidential front-runner, is calling on Congress to extend the Children's Health Insurance Program's (CHIP) funding for the next four years, labeling the approximately $10 billion expense "an investment in our children that will pay off for decades to come."
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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.
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Feb. 25 Webinar Wednesday: 'Health Plans Leave Money on the Table When They Fail to Effectively Audit, Track Rx Drug Claims'
Deloitte
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.
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Did you miss Webinar Wednesday: 'Engage Moms on Mobile Devices: How Smartphone Apps Can Improve Maternal Health'?
MHPA
Download the presentation by Wildflower Health and other past webinars here.
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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.

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MHPA's Myers to chair WHCC 4th Annual Medicaid and Medicare Reform Summit | March 2015 | Washington, DC
World Congress
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.
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Job opportunity: Physician contract negotiator | Chicago
Aetna
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. Enter Requisition #22158.
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Job opportunity: Clinical director, Homecare & Managed Care
First Quality
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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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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