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Refusal to expand Medicaid may cost employers $1 billion
Governors who refuse to expand their Medicaid programs for the poor may cost employers in their states as much as $1.3 billion in federal fines, a study found. A clause in the 2010 healthcare overhaul penalizes some employers when their workers aren't able to obtain affordable medical coverage through the company. Employers can avoid those fees if their workers qualify for Medicaid as part of an expansion that as many as 22 states have rejected, according to a report by Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.
Health law survives defunding vote
Congressional Republicans failed once again to halt the implementation of President Barack Obama's healthcare law, but said they'll try once more in the coming months.
The Senate defeated an amendment to defund implementation of the Affordable Care Act — the 34th time Republicans have forced a vote to defund or repeal all or part of the law.
President Obama to Democrats: Entitlements may have to change
President Barack Obama told Senate Democrats that his budget to be released in April would align closely with their priorities. He also warned that Democrats need to embrace at least some changes to unsustainable entitlement programs in order to achieve their long-term priorities.
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Bentley backs plan to change Medicaid in Alabama
The Associated Press via Tuscaloosa News
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced his support for changes to Alabama's Medicaid system that would affect one out of every five state residents. The Medicaid Advisory Commission advocates changing the basic operating model from a fee-for-service system to a managed care program. Under the proposal, private-sector contractors would develop care networks in eight newly created regions across the state.
Arizona governor introduces bill to expand Medicaid
The New York Times
Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona stepped to the lectern under blazing sunshine and before a mostly friendly audience to introduce a Medicaid expansion bill she has championed. In her brief remarks, Ms. Brewer twice used the word "conservative" to describe Arizona's Medicaid program, a managed-care system whose cost per patient is $680 less than the national average, and the bill she was endorsing, which would extend Medicaid coverage to anyone who made up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line.
Ohio weighs the Obamacare Medicaid expansion
The Washington Post
You probably haven't heard of Ron Amstutz. He was raised on a dairy farm in Ohio and now lives in the city of Wooster. He is on the board of the Orrville Area Boys' and Girls' Club and a member of the Wooster Rotary Club. Turns out, though, that Ron Amstutz has one of the most important roles right now in implementing the Affordable Care Act: He leads a small committee that will get the first say on whether Ohio expands Medicaid to 684,000 residents.
GOP lawmaker touts Medicaid expansion in Idaho
Idaho Business Review
A House Republican will introduce a measure seeking to expand Idaho's Medicaid program, a key provision in President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul. Rep. Tom Loertscher of Bone, Idahop, said he will introduce two bills — one dissolving Idaho's existing program to pay indigent people's medical costs and a second to expand Medicaid to include people up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line.
Report backs Medicaid expansion in Maine
The Associated Press via San Francisco Chronicle
Expanding Medicaid in Maine would stimulate $350 million in economic activity, create more than 3,100 jobs and generate as much as $18 million in state and local taxes annually, according to a policy report. But if Maine decides against expanding Medicaid, it stands to lose to other states the $256 million it could receive through the national healthcare law, while foregoing the other potential benefits, said Garrett Martin, executive director of the Maine Center for Economic Policy, a public policy research group that co-authored the report.
Big Medicaid gamble based on letter in Florida
Health News Florida
Florida's Republican legislative leaders say they believe they can get full federal funding for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, even though they propose to use it to buy subsidized private health insurance. If they are wrong, they will be giving up a huge windfall of federal funding, which state economists last week estimated at $51 billion over the next decade. But if they are correct, they will have accomplished quite a political feat.
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South Carolina House defeats Medicaid expansion
The South Carolina House rejected attempts by Democrats to extend Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of additional poor adults, before approving a $6.3 billion spending plan for state taxes. The House voted along party lines — 73-45, 74-42, and 76-41 — to defeat proposals expanding eligibility while the federal government covers all but some administrative costs.
Missouri Senate, House panels defeat Medicaid expansion
The Associated Press via San Francisco Chronicle
Missouri's Republican-led legislature dealt a triple defeat to a Medicaid expansion plan, as Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon continued to travel the state trying to rally support for an enlarged healthcare program for lower-income adults. In successive party-line votes, the Senate Appropriations Committee defeated legislation authorizing a Medicaid expansion after listening to more than two dozen witnesses in favor of it. Then the House Budget Committee defeated two amendments that would have added the Medicaid expansion to the next state budget.
Impact of Medicaid expansion on Texas state budget examined
The Texas Tribune
As state legislators consider what a "Texas solution" to Medicaid expansion would look like, others have begun addressing the question of how Medicaid expansion would affect the state budget and local taxes. With extra federal money coming in, Medicaid expansion could offset $1.2 billion in the 2014-15 biennium budget that Texas would spend on other health programs to cover poor populations, according to a report released by Billy Hamilton, the state's former budget estimator and former deputy comptroller.
North Carolina Medicaid director details budget shortfall for legislators
North Carolina Health News
North Carolina's Medicaid director told legislators that she's getting a handle on the expenses for the program that covers healthcare for 1.5 million low-income and disabled North Carolinians, and then went on to outline a projected budget shortfall of between $70 million and $132 million for the fiscal year. Medicaid head Carol Steckel's presentation to the Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services came just days after Gov. Pat McCrory released a memo telling state agency leaders to limit expenses for their departments in order to cover a shortfall in the Medicaid budget.
Utah lawmakers try to prohibit Medicaid expansion
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is still waiting to decide whether to accept the federal government's offer to expand Medicaid, but a group of Utah lawmakers wants to let him know where they stand by passing a law prohibiting the expansion. Republican lawmakers say the expansion offers a "false promise" of federal support.
2012-2013 Best Practices Compendium on sale now
MHPA's 2012-2013 Best Practices Compendium is the sixth edition of our annual publication that contains Medicaid health plans' best practices, as well as helpful resource information. Get yours today ($25 for members, $30 for non-members). To order, call 202-857-5720, or email us.
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
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.
'NICU Costs, Trends, Effective Management Solutions': A free webinar by Progeny Health | April 10 at 3pm EST
Medical costs for a baby born in the neonatal intensive care unit are considerably higher than they are for a healthy newborn. With preterm deliveries on the rise and issues with overutilization, the high costs associated with babies in the NICU are impacting payers more than ever. "NICU Costs, Trends and Effective Management Solutions" focuses on managing the care of this medically complex population. Ellen Stang, MD, the president and CEO of ProgenyHealth, will discuss a collaborative approach to NICU care management that delivers quality outcomes and reduces costs.
Recent webinar presentations from PwC, Deloitte, AmeriHealth Mercy available free on MHPA's website
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.
'Keeping You Healthy' video: Telemedicine Program by
WellPoint / Anthem Blue Cross
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.
New compendium on diabetes care from MHPA's Center for Best Practices
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.
Annual Medicaid Managed Care Congress | May 20-22 | Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor Hotel | Baltimore
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