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Hepatitis pills spark biggest jump in drug costs in a decade
Forbes
New pills to treat hepatitis C that are hailed for their effectiveness and bemoaned because of their costs were a big contributor to a 13 percent increase in drug spending last year, according to a new report from drug benefit firm Express Scripts.
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March 11 Webinar Wednesday: 'Seismic Changes in Pharmacy Creating Unprecedented Trend Increases'
Express Scripts
The trend of Medicaid health plans managing their pharmacy benefits not only control costs, they achieve better outcomes for their members. Successful plans are employing smarter pharmacy strategies in the form of formulary management, tighter requirements around compound medication use and interventions to improve quality of care. On the heels of the upcoming release of the 2014 Express Scripts Drug Trend Report, please join Krista Ward, senior director of Medicaid, as she shares trends driving prescription drug costs and best practices for Medicaid plans to align patient care and benefit affordability.
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Massachusetts governor's budget plan shifts Medicaid payments
The Boston Globe
A significant part of Governor Charlie Baker's proposal to tame a projected $1.8 billion state budget shortfall involves squeezing savings out of Medicaid, the state-federal healthcare program for the poor and disabled, which has ballooning costs. But, officials said, rather than chopping the benefits for the neediest, narrowing eligibility, or slicing rates paid to medical providers, Baker embraced two main strategies. He is requiring people to re-enroll in the program, as the law requires, paring those who are not eligible. And he is continuing a longtime Massachusetts tradition in dealing with the budget-busting entitlement — putting off payments.
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Medicaid expansion for Florida filed in Senate
The Tampa Tribune
Though its chairman this week said a bill filing would take another week or two, the Senate's Health Policy committee quietly filed a Florida Medicaid expansion plan Thursday night. Senate President Andy Gardiner alerted fellow senators in a letter emailed after business hours. The proposal is set to be heard by Sen. Aaron Bean's committee next Tuesday.
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Florida Senate starts Medicaid expansion talks with plans
already on the table

Health News Florida
With a potential $1 billion budget hole looming, the Florida Senate is starting to consider whether and how to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid. There are at least two proposed bills floating around the chamber, and lawmakers are also raising the possibility of resurrecting the original plan, dubbed NegronCare.
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Florida senator: Feds won't back down on healthcare aid
The Associated Press via WCTV-TV
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson says the Obama administration won't back down on cutting off over $1 billion in aid to Florida hospitals if the state doesn't expand its Medicaid program. Speaking to reporters, the Democratic senator said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told him her position on the aid is firm.
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Kansas debates regulation of mental health drugs for Medicaid patients
The Kansas City Star
During this legislative session, Kansas state health regulators have been working to repeal a 2002 law prohibiting the state from regulating mental health drugs used for treating Medicaid patients. The state, however, can regulate other drugs for treating heart disease, high blood pressure or cancer. The state is trying to move "from the Wild West of behavioral healthcare drugs, where anything can be prescribed at any time with little oversight," said Sara Belfry, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
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Alaska Senate Republicans preview Medicaid reform bill
Alaska Public Media
Alaska Senator Pete Kelly, a Fairbanks Republican, previewed a bill he is planning to introduce this week to reform the current Medicaid system. He said the bill won't include a provision to expand Medicaid, he said during a press conference. A group of Anchorage religious leaders and lay people are in Juneau to try to convince him and other skeptical lawmakers to change their minds on the issue.
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Democrats rip Republicans for stuffing Montana Medicaid-expansion bill — but don't try to revive it
Independent Record
Legislative Democrats blasted Republicans for killing Montana Gov. Steve Bullock's Medicaid-expansion proposal in committee last Friday night, saying procedural rules were violated — but stopped short of trying to overturn the action on the House floor.
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Senate, House still hoping for compromise on Utah Medicaid expansion
The Salt Lake Tribune
Capitol Hill leaders are talking compromise on healthcare. Lawmakers said Monday they're hopeful, even as the clock winds down on the 2015 legislative session, that the Senate and governor can strike a compromise with the House over Utah Medicaid expansion. House Majority Leader Jim Dunnigan said he wants to reach "common ground" with the Senate.
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Kansas governor softens stance on Medicaid expansion
Kansas Health Institute
News that Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has softened his position on Medicaid expansion wasn't exactly racing through the statehouse on Thursday. But it certainly had some legislators buzzing. In remarks Wednesday to conservative lawmakers in Missouri, Brownback said if the Kansas Legislature presented him with a budget-neutral expansion bill, he would likely sign it, according to a report in the Missouri Times.
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Insurance issues complicate new Pennsylvania health official's job
The Inquirer
Ted Dallas knew he was walking into a crisis the late-January day he accepted the job as Pennsylvania's acting secretary of the Department of Human Services. He knew that, since early December, thousands of Pennsylvanians with alcohol and drug addictions had been locked out of treatment centers. And he understood the seriousness of their situation. To fix the problem, the new secretary first had to find out how many people had been shut out of treatment and where they were. Then he had to get them moved to the right insurance coverage. He got to work, drafting people from across DHS, a sprawling agency formerly known as the Department of Public Welfare.
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March 18 Webinar Wednesday: ''Continence Management for Managed Care: Cost Containment through Better Care'
Medline
Join this webinar to learn best practice strategies for managing the complex job of continence care. As a manufacturer, supplier and provider of continence products in the industry, Medline Industries has created a turn-key program for health plans that can help leverage the capabilities of manufacturer-direct unit pricing and member utilization. Participating plans in Medline's Continence Solutions program have saved as much as 25 percent on their incontinence spend while still continuing to manage to coverage guidelines.
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March 25 Webinar Wednesday: 'AAAHC Health Plan Accreditation with a Spotlight on Chronic Disease Management'
AAAHC
Learn how AAAHC Health Plan Accreditation can help health plans demonstrate their commitment to improving healthcare quality and how health plans can benefit from AAAHC's collaborative accreditation process. This webinar will be presented in partnership with the Care Copilot Institute (CCI), part of Allina Health, pursuing a mission to transform care delivery through the use of lay healthcare workers.
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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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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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Medicaid Managed Care Congress: May 20-22 in Baltimore
Medicaid Managed Care Congress
At the Medicaid Managed Care Congress, government officials, health plan executives and other key players of the healthcare ecosystem come together to hear new case studies from industry peers and expert insights from state and federal regulatory bodies. This event will discuss the successes and challenges of implementation of major ACA provisions, delivery reform and payment reform and states pursuing better value. Use code XP2026MHPAB for a 15 percent discount.
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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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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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MHPA's Industry NewsBrief
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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