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New Jersey governor says he'll take US money to
expand Medicaid

The New York Times
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, one of the most strident Republican critics of President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul, announced that he would accept federal money to expand the Medicaid program in New Jersey. The expansion, which the governor described in his annual budget address to the legislature, would provide health insurance to 104,000 of the poorest 1.3 million residents currently living without it, though some groups say the number could be higher.
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Avalere Health joins MHPA as its latest business partner,
hires new health reform/Medicaid expert

Avalere
MHPA welcomes its newest business partner, Avalere Health, an advisory services company that delivers research, analysis, insight and strategy for leaders in healthcare business and policy. Avalere's experts span 170 staff drawn from the federal government (e.g. CMS, OMB, CBO, and the Congress), Fortune 500 healthcare companies, top consultancies and nonprofits. Its latest addition is health reform and Medicaid expert John Kaelin, formerly of UnitedHealthcare Community and State.
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Senate panel discusses reforms to curb Medicaid costs in Texas
The Texas Tribune
During four hours of public testimony on Senate Bill 7, disability rights stakeholders aired concerns on the bill's proposals to redesign Medicaid and acute care services to contain costs. SB 7 aims to curb costs by expanding managed care services, establishing pilot programs to try capping costs and to monitor services more efficiently. It would also set up an "intellectual and developmental disability system redesign advisory committee" — made up of stakeholders from disability rights groups — to advise the Health and Human Services Commission on ways to efficiently redesign Medicaid acute care services.
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Pennsylvania Democrats build Medicaid pressure on Corbett
The Associated Press via York Daily Record
Pressure on Gov. Tom Corbett grew to accept the federal government's offer to fund the lion's share of a massive Medicaid expansion now that Pennsylvania is virtually surrounded by states that are getting in line, including states run by Corbett's fellow Republican governors. Democrats seized on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's decision to embrace the Medicaid expansion as an opportunity to paint Corbett and Pennsylvania as increasingly isolated from a growing group of states that will accept billions of federal health care dollars to help hospitals and doctors care for millions of uninsured people.
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North Carolina lawmakers vote to bar Medicaid expansion
The Associated Press via San Francisco Chronicle
North Carolina lawmakers approved a bill barring the state from expanding Medicaid under the federal healthcare overhaul. Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, has indicated he'll sign the GOP-backed bill when it reaches his desk.
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Arkansas to use federal funds for exchange
Politico
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe's office says the state has received approval from Health and Human Services to take federal Medicaid expansion money and use it to buy private coverage for low-income residents through the state's insurance exchange. Beebe's idea isn't partial expansion, which HHS has already said states can't do if they want the federal funds. But the state would take the federal dollars for Medicaid expansion to provide private coverage through an insurance exchange to hundreds of thousands of residents who earn less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
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Hospital association poll shows most Kansans support Medicaid expansion
Kansas health Institute
A majority of Kansans support expanding Medicaid to help low-income people gain health coverage, according to a poll done in December for the Kansas Hospital Association that was recently released. According to the survey results, 60 percent of the state's residents would support expanding Medicaid to include persons earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level — $15,420. Expansion was opposed by 24 percent of those surveyed, and 16 percent said they weren't sure.
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California bridge plan approved by exchange board
California Healthline
California's Health Benefit Exchange board approved a plan to seamlessly allow low-income Medi-Cal managed care beneficiaries to choose a health plan offered by the exchange, now known as Covered California. The idea is to allow movement between Medi-Cal and Covered California when beneficiaries' circumstances change, so more people can stay insured without disruption. The exchange plans to launch the program in April 2014.
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Hearst Corporation acquires Milliman Care Guidelines, LLC
Care Guidelines
Hearst Corporation signed an agreement with Milliman, Inc. pursuant to which Hearst will acquire Milliman Care Guidelines LLC, a leading provider of evidence-based clinical healthcare guidelines. The announcement was made by Frank A. Bennack Jr., CEO of Hearst Corporation, and Richard P. Malloch, president of Hearst Business Media. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
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HP moving Medicaid info system to data center
ExecutiveBiz
HP Enterprise Services has won a $48 million contract to continue acting as Vermont's Medicaid fiscal agent and provide services intended to help the state achieve its healthcare reform goals. The company will relocate the state's current Medicaid Management Information System to a new HP data center and update call-center technology under the new four-year contract, HP said.
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The Duals dilemma — identifying effective care management approaches to support meaningful improvement: A free webinar by Deloitte Consulting | March 27 at 3 p.m. EST
MHPA
Individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid coverage represent one of the highest cost populations to care for in the U.S., with a diverse array of care management requirements. As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services initiates demonstrations to test care integration and financing for dual eligibles, health plans are positioning for the opportunity to serve this new population while simultaneously grappling with the many new capabilities that they will need to effectively manage care for these new members. This presentation will address some of the critical care management decisions that health plan leaders should be thinking about.
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Recent webinar presentations from PwC, Deloitte, AmeriHealth Mercy available free on MHPA's website
MHPA
View PDFs or listen to audio for "The Race to 2014: Health Reform and the 30 Million Newly Insured" by PwC, "The Fiscal Cliff, ACA, and Medicaid Managed Care" by Deloitte Consulting, "Optimizing Pharmaceutical Care in a Drug Therapy Management Program" by The AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies, and more.
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'Keeping You Healthy' video: Telemedicine Program by
WellPoint / Anthem Blue Cross

YouTube
VideoBrief WellPoint State Sponsored Business is the only private health plan to develop, manage and comprehensively support a statewide Telemedicine program to improve access to care in California. Telemedicine can be used by local primary care providers to obtain second opinions on difficult cases to avoid misdiagnosis and prescribing ineffective medications. It can also significantly reduce disparities and accessibility barriers. Timely access to specialty care means early identification and treatment of conditions, resulting in better health outcomes and lower health costs. Join Michael Martineau from Anthem Blue Cross and Michelle Martin from MHPA's Center for Best Practices as they discuss this innovative program.
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New compendium on diabetes care from MHPA's Center for Best Practices
MHPA
Prevention of diabetes is a key area of emphasis for health plans. Medicaid health plans' variety of diabetes prevention programs that promote physical activity, encourage healthy eating and help people maintain a healthy weight are critical to stem the rising tide of diabetes. Supported by an educational grant from Roche Diagnostics, this publication offers information on best practices in diabetes care from MHPA health plans and partner organizations. Geared primarily towards Medicaid health plans, state leaders and other policymakers, it also lists resources with website links that can help readers find information about preventing and managing diabetes.
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MHPA on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook
MHPA
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