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Feds demand Medicaid backlog fixes by 6 states
Kaiser Health News
Tired of waiting for states to reduce their backlogs of Medicaid applications, the Obama administration has given six states until Monday, July 14, to submit plans to resolve issues that have prevented more than 1 million low-income or disabled people from getting health coverage. The targeted states are Alaska, California, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Tennessee.
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Intervention: Will North Carolina clean up its Medicaid program?
Forbes
Most state legislative sessions have come to a close, but this hasn't stopped Medicaid debates across the country from raging on. In 2014, only New Hampshire has implemented Obamacare's Medicaid expansion. The failure of Obamacare advocates to convince more states may explain the dearth of reporting on this issue from a mainstream media that often seems solidly supportive of Medicaid expansion.

What may be even less covered, however, are the many states that are examining ways to fix a broken Medicaid program that costs too much and delivers health outcomes that, at best, are inconsistent for the patients relying on the safety net. North Carolina is one state exploring reform, while simultaneously exposing the many fault lines that develop during reform efforts.

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Report: Uninsured rate dropped after Obamacare exchanges opened
The Hill
The percentage of uninsured people in the U.S. dropped, from 20 percent to 15 percent, after the Obamacare marketplaces opened last year, according to a new study. The Commonwealth Fund polled between July and September of 2013, before the new exchanges went into effect, and then again between April and June this year, after the ObamaCare enrollment period ended. Its analysis estimates 9.5 million fewer people were uninsured after the enrollment period ended.
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Newest health insurance customers are generally happy
The New York Times
We've known for a few months now that lots of people signed up for health insurance this year in new marketplaces. A new survey shows that the people who did so are also pretty happy with their purchases. The survey, from the Commonwealth Fund, a research group, came to similar conclusions as other surveys about the expansion of health insurance.
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July 16 Webinar Wednesday: 'The Politics and Policy of
CHIP Reauthorization'

Healthcare Lighthouse
This webinar will focus on the policy and political considerations Congress must soon address relating to the Children's Health Insurance Program, for which funding is scheduled to halt on Sept. 30, 2015. Launched in 1997 as a bipartisan, block grant program, CHIP now covers over 5 million kids across the country. Many states have standalone CHIP programs, while others have merged it with Medicaid.
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In Virginia legislature, Republicans plan Medicaid debate in late September
The Washington Post
Republican leaders plan to call the House and Senate back into session in late September to debate Medicaid expansion, a move intended to give legislators another chance to weigh in on the issue as Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe tries to find a way to expand the program without their approval.
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SC Healthy Connections Checkup could expand, improve healthcare for those in South Carolina on Medicaid
The State
By covering a wider range of screenings, a newly christened, limited version of Medicaid coverage could lure in — and improve the health of — hundreds of thousands of South Carolinians beginning Aug. 1. S.C. Healthy Connections Checkup is an expansion of what has been called Family Planning coverage, but it's not to be confused with the much-debated federal Medicaid expansion. On the contrary, it's one of several programs pushed by Gov. Nikki Haley and South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services director Tony Keck instead of Medicaid expansion.
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Idaho Medicaid curbs payments for some disorders
Idaho Falls Post Register via Idaho Statesman
Deseray Burtenshaw's heart sank when she received a letter that could change the life of her 4-year-old son. The letter from Optum Idaho, the state's contracted administrator of Medicaid-reimbursed outpatient behavioral health services, said Burtenshaw no longer will be reimbursed for psychosocial rehabilitation to treat her son's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder.
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Iowa Medicaid director leaving for university job
The Des Moines Register
Iowa's Medicaid director is leaving the job to take a position at the University of Iowa. Jennifer Vermeer has run the huge program since 2008. Vermeer will become assistant vice president of medical affairs at the University of Iowa Health Care, according to a Department of Human Services news release. Her resignation is effective Aug. 21.
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White House dials up the pressure on Medicaid holdouts
The Hill
The White House is turning up the heat on Republican governors who have refused to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, arguing their decision to opt out has harmed their states' economies.

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MHPA's 'Things Tim Howard Could Save' meme
MHPA
The World Cup performance of Tim Howard, the goalkeeper for the U.S. men's soccer team, has inspired popular "Things Tim Howard Could Save" memes. MHPA has added to the Howard meme craze.

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Early estimates: Increase in Medicaid under ACA reduces uninsurance
Health Reform Monitoring Survey
One of the chief goals of the Affordable Care Act is expanded health insurance coverage. An important strategy for reaching that goal is expanded enrollment in Medicaid, which provides free or very low cost health insurance to low-income people.

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Report: Prison healthcare costs stabilize
The Associated Press via Miami Herald
Per a report from the Pew Charitable Trusts, states are spending slightly less on prisoner healthcare after nearly a decade of steady increases. The report found that in most states, prison healthcare spending peaked at $8.2 billion in 2009 after nearly a decade of dramatic increases. But by 2011, that total had dropped slightly to $7.7 billion, partly because prison populations decreased.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed our previous issues? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Illinois moving on with Medicaid managed care plan (The Associated Press via Pantagraph.com)
Medicaid managed care arriving in South Florida (Miami Herald)
Horizon NJ Health to launch MLTSS program (PRWeb)
Sesame Street asks: Can you tell me how to get to North Carolina? (Morning Consult)
Insurers to actuaries: Factor new drugs, devices into Medicaid capitation rates; MHPA's Myers comments (Inside Health Policy)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


mhpa2014 early-bird rate expires Sept. 8
MHPA
Sign up before Sept. 8 to save on mhpa2014 registration. The mhpa2014 agenda focusing on Medicaid beneficiaries boasts presentations from CMS officials, CME sessions for clinicians, a healthy pregnancies and babies track, a state Medicaid directors panel and much more. For registration info and more details on our annual conference, please click here.
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