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Medicaid insurers look for new growth opportunities; MPHA's Myers weighs in
Modern Healthcare
The Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion has had a positive impact on health insurers' business, but now plans are looking for other ways to grow. Medicaid plans experienced an initial bump of 10.8 million new enrollees in 2014 because of the healthcare reform law. But future growth among those newly eligible members in the 28 states that have approved expansion won't be as large, some experts say.
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House unveils $200 billion Medicare deal, extends CHIP funding for 2 years
The Hill
A bipartisan group of senior House members unveiled legislation Tuesday to end automatic cuts to doctors under Medicare, with the bill slated to receive a vote this week. The bill, which has been known as the "doc fix" deal, would end a decades-old payment problem for Medicare doctors, known as the sustainable growth rate (SGR). The current rate expires in one week, which puts pressure on House leaders to meet their goal of a Thursday vote.

To attract Democratic support, the bill would extend funding for the government's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two years. The party has called for a four-year extension, which some Senate Democrats still argue must be included.

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GOP hits Medicaid to offset doc fee hikes
The Associated Press via The Washington Post
House Republicans quietly deepened recommended budget savings from the government's chief healthcare program for the poor by about $140 billion in recent weeks to offset part of the cost of higher payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients, according to officials familiar with the trade-off.
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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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On 5th anniversary of healthcare law, no end to debate
The Associated Press via Yahoo News
When President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act five years ago, he visualized a time when the political hyperbole would be silenced and ordinary people would see that the healthcare law improved their lives. The White House ceremony on March 23, 2010, was an applause-filled celebration. "When I sign this bill," Obama said, "all of the overheated rhetoric over reform will finally confront the reality of reform."
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Obamacare is spurring startups and creating jobs
Bloomberg
More than 90 new healthcare companies employing as many as 6,200 people have been created in the U.S. since Obamacare became law, a level of entrepreneurial activity that participants say may be unprecedented for the industry.
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11 million gained Medicaid coverage under Obamacare
The Hill
More than 11 million more people have health insurance under Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) compared to when the core of Obamacare took effect in 2013, according to data the administration released Friday. The data show that through the end of January, 11.2 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP compared to before Obamacare's coverage expansion began, about a 19 percent increase.
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When Ted Cruz argued at SCOTUS
National Journal
Long before he launched a presidential campaign, Ted Cruz gave his debate skills a workout in front of the toughest audience in Washington — the Supreme Court. Cruz, who on Monday became the first official candidate of 2016, has argued nine cases before the high court. And those arguments have a lot in common with his time in elected office — namely, aggressively conservative positions, sometimes challenging the federal government, with decidedly uneven results.
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House, Senate panels adopt balanced-budget plans
The Associated Press via The Washington Post
Republicans in Congress advanced balanced-budget plans bristling with cuts in Medicaid and other benefit programs Thursday, determined to make a down payment on last fall's campaign promise to erase deficits by the end of the decade. Last-minute maneuvering to match Pentagon spending levels requested by President Barack Obama consumed GOP lawmakers in both the House Budget Committee and the counterpart Senate panel.
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If California duals project is curtailed, future is cloudy for program for
frail seniors

California Healthline
Some advocates and legislators are urging the state to extend the timeline for transitioning the Multipurpose Senior Services Program into managed care plans within the seven-county duals demonstration project. The duals project, also known as Cal MediConnect, is part of the Coordinated Care Initiative that affects roughly two-thirds of the state of California's duals population in seven counties — Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo and Santa Clara.
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Diabetes cases surge in states that expanded Medicaid
U.S. News & World Report
States that chose to expand Medicaid for low-income Americans under President Barack Obama's healthcare law have seen a surge in diabetes diagnoses, a new study shows, particularly during the disease's earlier stages when changes in lifestyle can have a significant impact on a person's later health.
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Iowa DHS leader defends changes to Medicaid
The Associated Press via The Baltimore Sun
The head of the Iowa Department of Human Services on Thursday defended the decision to close two state mental health facilities and switch the state's Medicaid program to private management, saying the changes will save money and offer people better care. DHS Director Charles Palmer told the Senate Human Resources Committee that the department was facing budget shortfalls when he recommended closing the facilities in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant.
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Kansas Medicaid expansion stalls in House committee after
testimony on costs

The Wichita Eagle
A proposal to expand Medicaid could have a difficult time regaining momentum after a state official testified that it would cost Kansas more than $2 billion over 10 years. The House Committee on Health and Human Services did not advance the bill on Thursday, leaving it in limbo.
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April 1 Webinar Wednesday: 'Medication Monitoring & Pharmacogenetic Testing (PGT): Helping Clinicians to Individualize Safer Opioid Management'
Millennium Health
Opioid side effects and the effect of poly pharmacy have been highlighted recently in the media. Clearly, there are challenges to safely treating chronic pain in the midst of the national crisis of prescription drug abuse. This case-based webinar will highlight clinical and research experiences of integrating UDT & PGT to help improve care for the treatment of chronic pain and common co-morbidities such as anxiety and depression.
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Did you miss Webinar Wednesday: 'Continence Management for Managed Care: Cost Containment through Better Care' by Medline?
MHPA
To request a copy of the presentation or for additional information, please contact Rob O'Brien, or visit here.

For copies of other past webinars, visit here.

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Pay for success, social impact bonds: Request for proposals
Green & Healthy Homes Initiative
The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative released a request for proposals from asthma-related service providers to develop asthma social impact bond/pay for success projects. GHHI and its partner Calvert Foundation will provide technical assistance to five selected service providers in the catchment areas of the previously selected healthcare organizations:
  • Baystate Health (Springfield, MA)
  • Le Bonheur Children's Hospital (Memphis, TN)
  • Monroe Plan for Medical Care (Buffalo/Rochester, NY)
  • Spectrum Health (Grand Rapids, MI)
  • University of Utah Health Plans (Salt Lake, UT)
An informational webinar will be held on Friday, March 20. Please review the RFP; proposals are due April 8.

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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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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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Job opportunity: Clinical director, Homecare & Managed Care
First Quality
First Quality, a leading manufacturer of disposable home healthcare 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 homecare 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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