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Poll: Most say Obama's healthcare law will be implemented — but 7 in 10 expect changes
The Associated Press via The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It still divides us, but most Americans think President Barack Obama's healthcare law is here to stay. More than 7 in 10 say the law will fully go into effect with some changes, ranging from minor to major alterations, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds. Only 12 percent expect the Affordable Care Act — "Obamacare" to dismissive opponents — to completely be repealed. Although the overhaul survived a Supreme Court challenge in June, the November election appears likely to settle its fate. Republican Mitt Romney vows to begin repealing it on Day One while Obama pledges to faithfully carry it out. More



Medicaid plan administrative costs surge on information systems, medical management increases in 2011
Business Wire via Insurance Broadcasting    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Administrative expenses of selected Medicaid plans grew by 11.3 percent per member per month. Double-digit increases in information systems and medical management were central. While overall sales and marketing expenses declined, product development and market research sharply increased. More

Test for Obama as deficit stays over $1 trillion
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Four years ago, Barack Obama campaigned for president on a promise to cut annual federal budget deficits in half by the end of his term. Then came financial calamity, $1.4 trillion in stimulus measures and a maddeningly slow economic recovery. Now, despite small annual improvements, the deficit for the fiscal year that ends Sunday will surpass $1 trillion for the fourth straight time. Against that headline-grabbing figure, Obama's explanation — that the deficit he inherited actually is on a path to be cut in half just a year later than he promised, measured as a percentage of the economy's total output — risks sounding professorial at best. More

GOP, citing new report, says health law has not controlled costs
The Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Republicans used new data on healthcare costs to argue that President Barack Obama's healthcare law hasn't lived up to expectations. "The verdict is in, and it is clear that President Obama has failed to deliver," Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee said, citing Obama's past pledges to slow the growth of healthcare costs. The renewed criticism was sparked by a report that found a spike last year in the cost of healthcare. The Health Care Cost Institute said per capita healthcare spending rose 4.6 percent in 2011, compared with 3.8 percent growth in 2010. More

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CMS to seek comments from providers, beneficiaries on Medicaid performance
InsideHealthPolicy.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
CMS soon will reach out to stakeholders to gauge their overall level of satisfaction with the Medicaid program as part of the agency's effort to establish performance standards, the agency's Medicaid chief said in a recent teleconference. The upcoming request for comments on how applicants, enrollees and providers feel about the program comes as CMS is finalizing regulations proposed last April that aim to ensure beneficiaries have access to Medicaid providers, said Cindy Mann of CMS. More

Study: Children's prescriptions often going unfilled
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A large share of medication prescriptions to children on Medicaid may go unfilled, a new study suggests. Researchers found that of nearly 17,000 prescriptions made to children at two urban clinics, 22 percent were never filled. That's similar to what's been seen in studies of adults — among whom anywhere from 16 percent to 24 percent of prescriptions go unfilled. More

MACPAC weighs legislative fix to stem MAGI's effect on Medicaid/CHIP/exchanges churn
InsideHealthPolicy.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Congressional advisers are looking into whether a legislative fix is needed to stem the churn between Medicaid and private coverage bought in the exchanges that likely will increase when states no longer are able to lock in Medicaid eligibility for residents with income fluctuations after the health law's MAGI standard takes effect in 2014. This is just one of the many issues MACPAC commissioners are struggling with as they try to anticipate how coverage, benefits and cost sharing will pan out in 2014 — with other issues including split family coverage and Medicaid coverage differences. More



Hatch presses HHS for details on federal exchange
The Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Obama administration hasn't given states enough information to decide whether they'll implement the central feature of the Affordable Care Act, U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, charged in a highly critical request for more guidance. Hatch, the top Republican on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, said states can't make well-informed decisions about whether to establish their own insurance exchanges or let the federal government step in with a fallback. More

Kansas health official: Federal officials likely to approve KanCare plan
Kansas Health Institute    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A top official at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment assured a legislative panel that efforts to secure federal approval for Gov. Sam Brownback's plan for privatizing almost all of the state's Medicaid programs appear to be going well. "I don't see it being rejected," said Kari Bruffett, KDHE's director of healthcare finance, in testimony before the Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services Oversight. More

Medicaid expansion rejected by Louisiana may be pursued in New Orleans
Greater Baton Rouge Business Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is opting out of the Medicaid expansion offered in the federal Affordable Care Act, The Times-Picayune reports New Orleans officials are looking for ways to go it alone. Jindal announced his decision after the Supreme Court in June upheld the constitutionality of the healthcare overhaul legislation but ruled that states can't be compelled to expand Medicaid, a key component of President Barack Obama's goal of providing near universal health coverage by 2014. More

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Report: Expanding Medicaid eligibility would help Arizona
Cronkite News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Expanding Medicaid eligibility to 133 percent of the federal poverty line, as called for under the Affordable Care Act, would boost Arizona's economy and add jobs, a think tank reported. While that approach would increase costs for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the nonprofit Grand Canyon Institute said, it also would make the state eligible for a higher percentage of federal funding. The group held a news conference to discuss a report that examined three options for Medicaid under the federal healthcare law. More

Maine not alone in hunt for Medicaid savings
The Associated Press via Morning Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Maine is not alone among the states that have reduced spending for Medicaid programs, a healthcare spending consultant told a panel that's looking to add to cuts that already have been imposed. Cuts elsewhere range from eyeglasses and eye exams to hearing aids, dental care, chiropractic services and mental health services, according to a summary prepared by Seema Verma of SVC Inc. for the MaineCare Redesign Task Force. More


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MHPA's 2012 Annual Meeting only 1 month away; view updated agenda
MHPA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If you haven't signed up yet for the MHPA 2012 Annual Meeting, "A Pivotal Time for Medicaid Health Plans," register online now from your PC or PDA. We've also added speakers to our "Developments in the States" Pre-Conference lineup. See the updated agenda here. Reminder: No more rooms are available at the conference hotel, the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Check nearby hotels for availability.

Expert video series from MHPA partner Truven Health (formerly Thomson Reuters Healthcare)
MHPA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bob Kelley, senior vice president of Truven Health, recently discussed the current market trends and issues affecting health plans. Market trends and payer/provider relationships is the first of a free series by Truven Health. click the link to hear what he has to say. Coming up next week: How health plans can leverage data to better position themselves for reform changes.



Insights webinar: 'Provider Networks' | 11 a.m. EDT Monday, Oct. 1
Sellers Dorsey    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sellers Dorsey will brief MHPA members on the provider network requirements for Qualified Health Plans in State Health Insurance Exchanges, including requirement to contract with essential community providers, what constitutes an ECP, access standards, special hospital contracting rules and implication of these policies for network management and provider relations. This webinar is $69 for MHPA members; $79 for nonmembers. More info and REGISTER here.

Free webinar by Medagate: 'Member Engagement: Communications & Wellness Programs' | 3 p.m. EDT Oct. 10
MHPA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Approximately 25 percent of Medicaid members represent 70 to 80 percent of Medicaid spending. Unfortunately, many Medicaid members are transient by nature, which can make communicating and maintaining wellness programs a challenge. Join Fred Haumesser from ReadyWireless and Donny Tye from Medagate to learn about communication and wellness strategies that take advantage of Lifeline Medicaid programs to engage members. More

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Insights webinar: 'Prepayment Reviews & Minimizing Medicaid Exposure | 11 a.m. EDT Oct. 15
Presidio Excess Insurance Inc.    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Discuss high-dollar Medicaid claim trends from a reinsurer's prospective. REGISTER NOW.

Insights webinar: 'The Ins and Outs of Encounter Reporting' | 11 a.m. EDT Oct. 29
Altegra Health    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
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Free webinar by MHPA partner LexisNexis: Why Identity Management Matters to Medicaid | 1 p.m. EST Nov. 8
MHPA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As a Medicaid Plan you should not just be addressing the "what" of identity management — the technical side — but, more important, the question of "who?" How do we know who the person on the other end is who they say they are and what risks they may pose for the environments and systems they are attempting to enter? More

Take action for World Diabetes Day: Attend MHPA's free webinar by Novo Nordisk on diabetes trends to 2025 and resources for policymakers, patients | noon EST Nov. 14
MHPA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In an effort to help confront the epidemic of diabetes, Novo Nordisk commissioned and funded "United States' Diabetes Crisis: Today and Future Trends," the first study to provide detailed diabetes prevalence and cost forecasts individually for all 50 states out to the year 2025. The study not only provides insight into how the growing diabetes epidemic geographically will spread in the U.S., but also highlights how this demographic shift might affect local economies. This webinar will provide an overview of the study from lead researcher Dr. Bill Rowley and will introduce the Novo Nordisk Diabetes Barometer, an interactive tool and comprehensive resource that highlights important research about the current state of diabetes in the United States. Participants also will learn how to use the interactive map portion of the website to benchmark and compare diabetes prevalence and cost forecasts to 2025 for all 50 states. More



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