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Medicaid enrollment surges across the US; MHPA comments
U.S. News & World Report
Much of the focus of the healthcare law in recent months has centered on whether the government could get millions of people to sign up for private health insurance through federal or state exchanges. But the Affordable Care Act also expands health insurance for Americans with the lowest incomes — by giving them greater access to public coverage through Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
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The stark North-South divide in health insurance
CBS News
When it comes to healthcare coverage, America is becoming a land of geographically based haves and have-nots. States with the lowest uninsured rates are clustered in the Northeast and upper Midwest, while those with the highest rates of uninsured Americans are mostly in Southern states such as Georgia and Louisiana, according to a new study from Gallup. One reason is that many Southern states opted out of expanding Medicaid coverage under Obamacare.
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Iowa official: Managed Medicaid will save money and improve service
The Associated Press via Omaha World-Herald
Turning Iowa's Medicaid program over to private operators will save money and improve service, a top state official said Wednesday, but lawmakers questioned how it would impact people enrolled in the program. Department of Human Services Director Chuck Palmer told the legislature's Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee that the state is moving forward with a plan to shift the Medicaid program to two or more managed care organizations, to which Iowa will pay fixed amount per enrollee to provide health coverage.
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Kansas Senate rejects bill controlling mental health drugs
The Associated Press via Miami Herald
A proposal for controlling Kansas' costs for expensive mental health drugs in its Medicaid program failed Wednesday in the state Senate because some members worried that patients wouldn't get the medications they need. The Senate voted, 25-15, against a bill repealing a 2002 law that prohibits restrictions in Medicaid on prescriptions for treating mental illnesses, such as a list of preferred drugs for doctors, or a requirement that the program sign off before a prescription is made. The state's $3 billion-a-year Medicaid program provides health coverage for 368,000 needy and disabled state residents.
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Utah governor's Medicaid expansion plan may have hit dead end
The Associated Press via The Baltimore Sun
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's trimmed-down plan for expanding Medicaid appears to have hit a dead end at the state Capitol. Hours after the Republican governor's plan earned key approval in the state Senate, Republican House Speaker Greg Hughes said Wednesday afternoon that the GOP-dominated House will not consider the governor's plan because it has no support.
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Nebraska eyes Medicaid 'redesign' bill to close coverage gap
The Associated Press via The Baltimore Sun
Lawmakers who want to close Nebraska's healthcare coverage gap are taking a new approach after two previous attempts to expand Medicaid failed. Sen. Kathy Campbell presented her Medicaid "redesign" bill Wednesday to a legislative committee, saying it would help the state uncover more efficient ways to provide health coverage while giving Nebraska officials flexibility to design a state-specific plan.
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Critics: Medicaid services Illinois governor would cut save state money
Chicago Tribune via Kaiser Health News
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed $1.47 billion in Medicaid cuts includes reductions in dental services, mental healthcare and other coverage. But some legislators and patient advocates say the targeted services don't just help keep people healthy — they also save the state money.
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Delaware legislators pan Medicaid efforts to reduce waste
The Associated Press via The Baltimore Sun
Legislative budget writers grilled Delaware Medicaid officials Wednesday on delays in a program aimed at reducing waste, fraud and abuse, and about the lack of access by thousands of Medicaid enrollees to the state's only children's hospital. With the state facing a tight budget year and the Joint Finance Committee trying to balance a $3.9 billion operating budget proposed by Gov. Jack Markell, co-chair Sen. Harris McDowell III wondered why the Department of Health and Social Services has lagged on reducing fraud and waste in the state's $1.9 billion Medicaid program.
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Fixing America's mental healthcare system
The Hill
VideoBrief As state and federal budgets get tighter, spending on mental illness has dramatically fallen — contributing to significant gaps in America's mental health safety net. Cash-strapped Medicaid programs bear a large part of the burden of caring for those with mental illness and these programs' budget troubles are only expected grow.
 The Hill hosted a timely and thought-provoking conversation on the economic and human consequences of cost-cutting policies that limit access to treatment.
 

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Did you miss Webinar Wednesday: 'Health Plans Leave Money on the Table When They Fail to Effectively Audit, Track Rx Drug Claims' by Deloitte?
MHPA
For a copy or for further information, please contact Rupal D. Patel. For copies of other past webinars, visit here.
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MHPA's Legislative Fly-In | May 11 | Washington, DC
MHPA
Join us for MHPA's Legislative Fly-In, scheduled May 11 and 12 at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel, to educate lawmakers on our industry and its key issues.

Click here for reservation information.

For details, please contact Nikida Levy via email or by phone at 202-857-5720.

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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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MHPA's Industry NewsBrief
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Damon Sayles, Senior Editor, 469.420.2662   
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