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Report: More seniors are living in poverty
Politico
An alternative census estimate shows that more of America's seniors than originally thought are living in poverty — and that means the poverty rate could spike under certain Medicare reforms, a new analysis finds. The estimate, which takes into account health spending and regional cost of living, finds 1 in 7 seniors lives in poverty. It was previously thought that just 1 in 10 did.
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Increase in doctors' pay for Medicaid services off to a slow start
The Washington Post
The Obama administration's strategy of enticing more primary-care doctors to treat the poor by raising Medicaid reimbursement rates is off to a slow start. Only a handful of states, including Maryland, have begun paying doctors at the higher rates, which average a 73 percent increase nationally. That's because the administration did not issue the rules until November, and state officials say they haven't had time to make changes and get the federal government to approve them.
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MHPA's Joe Moser on Medicaid expansion, insurer fee at the Medicaid Managed Care Congress
MHPA
On May 20, Joe Moser, MHPA's interim executive director, presented at the Medicaid Managed Care 101 pre-conference at the Medicaid Managed Care Congress in Baltimore. His insights on Medicaid expansion and the health insurer fee were well received by the large audience of managed care, pharmaceutical industry representatives.
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Horizon NJ Health awarded commendable accreditation by NCQA
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Horizon NJ Health, New Jersey's largest Medicaid and NJFamilyCare managed healthcare organization, has announced that it has earned a Commendable Accreditation status from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Horizon NJ Health is a wholly owned subsidiary of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.
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Obamacare allies eye ballot initiatives
Politico
Obamacare backers stymied by conservative legislatures in red states may have a new approach — letting the voters break logjams with state ballot initiatives in 2014. Frustrated by conservative opposition to extending Medicaid even in states where Republican governors have embraced it, the president's allies are strategizing about asking voters to do what their elected leaders have not — accept billions of federal dollars to cover millions of poor people under Obamacare.
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Feds make it easier for states to enroll poor under health law
Kaiser Health News
The Obama administration is making it easier for states to sign up the poor for health coverage — and to help those people stay covered. On May 17, it informed state officials that they could simplify enrollment in Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor, to handle the onslaught of millions of anticipated enrollees next year when the healthcare law expands coverage.
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MACPAC sees potential concerns in DSH cut targeting methodology
InsideHealthPolicy
CMS' proposed formula for calculating cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share payments is designed to incentivize states to target DSH payments to the most needy hospitals, Congress' Medicaid payment and access advisers said, but commission members expressed concerns that lag time between CMS' calculations and any changes to state policy may take away from those incentives.
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MACPAC meeting spurs talk of revamping 1115 waivers to push innovation
InsideHealthPolicy
Revamping the Medicaid 1115 waiver process to focus less on budget-neutrality and more on permanent payment and delivery reform was floated by some congressional Medicaid payment advisers, drawing interest from Medicaid officials, as a top CMS official acknowledged the agency already exercises some flexibility in enforcing the budget-neutrality rule.
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Texas House OKs bill to expand mental health in managed care
The Texas Tribune
Managed care plans would be required to offer more mental health services to Medicaid recipients under a bill tentatively approved by the House. "Integrating behavioral and physical health services under Medicaid managed care will coordinate care and deliver better outcomes for this population," said Texas Rep. John Zerwas, the lower chamber's sponsor of Senate Bill 58.
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Texas House gives early OK to Medicaid expansion ban
The Texas Tribune
In a surprise turn in the House, a bill to reform Medicaid long-term and acute care services became a vehicle for the GOP's platform against Medicaid expansion. "Many of us are very weary of Medicaid expansion," said Texas Rep. Jeff Leach, who offered an amendment to Senate Bill 7 that would ban Texas from expanding Medicaid eligibility without the approval of the legislature.
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Arizona Senate backs Medicaid expansion
The Arizona Republic
VideoBriefThe Arizona Senate recently approved expanding the state's Medicaid program, capping a rancorous debate that had split the Republican Party and had been building since January, when Gov. Jan Brewer issued a surprise call to increase Arizona's healthcare program for the poor.
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Medicaid expansion could be on Ohio ballot in 2014
The Columbus Dispatch
As supporters of Medicaid expansion in Ohio grow increasingly impatient with legislative inaction, talk — both publicly and privately — is turning toward alternatives such as a 2014 ballot issue. "In the balance is healthcare for hundreds of thousands of Ohioans and the jobs that would be attached to those," said Anthony Caldwell, spokesman for Service Employees International Union District 1199.
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Medicaid opposition underscores states' healthcare disparities
Los Angeles Times
Republican opposition in many statehouses to expanding Medicaid in 2014 under President Barack Obama's healthcare law — opposition that could leave millions of the nation's poorest residents without insurance coverage — will likely widen the divide between the nation's healthiest and sickest states.
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MHPA congratulates Tavenner on confirmation as CMS Administrator
MHPA
On May 15, the Senate voted, 91-7, for Marilyn Tavenner to lead CMS, which hasn't had a Senate-confirmed administrator in seven years. Tavenner has a well-established record of success in both industry and public service.

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North Carolina officials pitch Medicaid managed care to doctors
The News & Observer via InsuranceNewsNet.com
The McCrory administration's plan to convert the $13 billion Medicaid program to managed care remains an outline as two top health officials travel the state of North Carolina pitching it to doctors and other healthcare providers.

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Most doctors still reject Medicaid as program expansion nears
McClatchy
Doctors in several states have refused to operate on patients covered by Medicaid. Because of the program's history of low payments, fewer than half of U.S. doctors and other health care professionals accept Medicaid patients, according to a recent study.

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Louisiana Senate panel kills Medicaid expansion measure
The Times-Picayune
Legislation allowing Louisiana to use federal health overhaul dollars to expand Medicaid eligibility standards and to pay for private health insurance plans was deferred in committee on May 20, effectively killing it for the remainder of the legislative session.
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Iowa governor hints he'd OK Medicaid expansion if federal funding
pledges were secured

Des Moines Register
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad appeared to soften his opposition to an expansion of Medicaid, a shift one leading Democrat said could help the stalemated legislature resolve the issue. For months, the Republican governor has sternly rejected a broadening of the state-federal program that provides healthcare services for low-income people, arguing that the federal government can't be trusted to uphold its promises to fund the expansion. Instead, he’s pushed a new program that relies less on federal funds but covers fewer people.
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Maine Senate approves bill that links Medicaid expansion to hospital
debt repayment

Bangor Daily News
For the third time in a week, Democrats in the legislature prevailed on a vote to link an expansion of Medicaid eligibility in Maine to a plan to repay the state's Medicaid debt to its 39 hospitals. After lengthy debate, the Senate voted,20-15, in favor of LD 1546, a bill that proposes repayment of Maine's hospital debt, a restructuring of the state's wholesale liquor contract and — after votes initiated by majority Democrats on two legislative committees — an expansion of Medicaid eligibility in the state under the Affordable Care Act.
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MHPA welcomes new supporting member SCA Personal Care
Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget
SCA is a global leader in personal care and has a portfolio of incontinence products, baby diapers and feminine care products. Within these product categories, SCA also offers such products as wet wipes, soap, baby oil, lotion and cotton pads. The products are sold under SCA's global, regional and local brands as well as under retailers' brands. Distribution channels for the products are the retail trade, pharmacies and care institutions.
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Navigant job opportunities in DC, Chicago areas
Navigant
Navigant is a specialized, global expert services firm dedicated to assisting clients in creating and protecting value in the face of critical business risks and opportunities. Navigant's Healthcare Practice strives to be the premier independent management consulting practice assisting senior level healthcare executives deal with their core business challenges.

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Aetna job opportunity: Director of medical management for
Delaware Physicians Care

Aetna
Aetna is looking for a new director of medical management for Delaware Physicians Care. The position oversees the implementation and on-going execution of the strategic and operational business plan for the business segment's clinical operations, inbound/outbound call queue, implementation and/or plan sponsor operations. The position also coordinates business segment policies and procedures in support of financial, operational and service requirements.
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Recent webinar presentations from Deloitte, Reckitt Benckiser, ProgenyHealth available free on MHPA's website
MHPA
View PDFs or listen to audio for "Blurring Boundaries: Considering the Role of Medicaid-oriented Health Plans in 2014 and Beyond", by Deloitte Consulting, "Opioid Dependence — A Chronic Relapsing Brain Disease" by Reckitt Benckiser, "NICU Costs, Trends, and Effective Management Solutions" by ProgenyHealth and more.
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2012-2013 Best Practices Compendium on sale now
MHPA
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 nonmembers). To order, call 202-857-5720, or email us.
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MHPA on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook
MHPA
Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to get industry-related news and the latest MHPA announcements.
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