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AMA votes to push states on Medicaid expansion
InsideHealthPolicy.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The American Medical Association adopted a number of Medicaid and Medicare policies at its semiannual meeting Nov. 13, including a policy to advocate on the state level to expand Medicaid eligibility to the full 133 percent of the federal poverty level as originally proposed in the Affordable Care Act. The AMA also will push for an increase in Medicaid payments and a decrease in administrative burdens as coverage is expanded. Other AMA policies include: streamlining prescription refill schedules; principles to guide healthcare teams; and ending pay for delay to remove barriers to generic medication. More



Liberals argue Obama-backed Medicaid cuts would weaken healthcare law
The Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Experts at the Center for American Progress said Medicaid cuts would undermine the success of the president's signature healthcare law. President Barack Obama needs to walk away from some of the Medicare and Medicaid cuts he endorsed in earlier budget-cutting talks, a group of liberal healthcare experts said. Experts at the Center for American Progress said Medicaid cuts that Obama previously has endorsed would undermine the success of his signature healthcare law. More

Reminder: Submissions for Diabetes Care Best Practices Compendium due tomorrow, Nov. 16
MHPA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Medicaid Health Plans of America is calling for case studies from our member organizations that will help to highlight real-world examples of best practices related diabetes prevention and treatment. We invite member and partner organizations to submit information to be included in the MHPA Diabetes Care Best Practices Compendium, to be published in January. More

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WellCare, employees give more than $100,000 to American Diabetes Association
WellCare Health Plans via Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
WellCare Health Plans Inc. announced that its employees and its foundation combined to contribute more than $100,000 to the American Diabetes Association. The monies raised by WellCare employees and the donation from the WellCare Community Foundation will help support the association in its movement to stop diabetes. The company's employees raised more than $56,000 by participating in the American Diabetes Association's Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes event. WellCare employees formed 20 teams with more than 300 registered walkers across Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, New York and Texas. In WellCare's headquarters' city of Tampa, Fla., more than 200 walkers raised nearly $40,000 for the local American Diabetes Association office. The WellCare Community Foundation contributed an additional $50,000. More

Florida governor eases on healthcare law
The Associated Press via LifeHealthPro    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most vocal critics of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, is dropping his staunch opposition to the law. Scott, a Republican, said in an interview with The Associated Press that he now wants to negotiate with the federal government. He said it's time for Republicans to offer solutions to help families after they lost their bid to defeat President Barack Obama. "The election is over and President Obama won," Scott said. "I'm responsible for the families of Florida ... If I can get to yes, I want to get to yes." More



Arkansas governor: Medicaid expansion can spare nursing homes
The Associated Press via WMC-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says expanding Medicaid eligibility under the federal healthcare law would be the best way to avoid removing thousands of people from nursing home care, but says he'll consider other ideas. The governor told reporters he wants to avoid cutting the lowest level of nursing home care currently covered by Medicaid, and that he's willing to talk to legislative leaders about alternatives. The Department of Human Services says the state could save $35 million by dropping nursing home care for about 10,000-15,000 seniors. More

Arkansas Medicaid faces 'significant' cuts in services
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Arkansas would stop paying for thousands of seniors in nursing homes, eliminate an insurance program for low-income workers and cut rates for providers to fill a $138 million shortfall in the state's Medicaid program, even if lawmakers support a proposal to boost funding, an official said. Department of Human Services Director John Selig told members of the Joint Budget Committee that the cuts are needed to make up for a deficit in the state share of its Medicaid program, which serves nearly 800,000 Arkansans. More

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Bentley: Alabama won't create health insurance exchange or expand Medicaid
Montgomery Advertiser via Pharmacy Choice    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said he would not set up a state-run health insurance exchange and would not opt into an expansion of Medicaid that could cover hundreds of thousands of uninsured Alabamians. "The Affordable Care Act is neither affordable nor does it actually improve healthcare," the governor said in a statement. "Congress and the president have said they want to work together to solve the fiscal crisis facing this country, and I suggest they start with this healthcare bill." Alabama had until Nov. 16 to tell the Department of Health and Human Services whether it wanted to set up a state-run health insurance exchange. Bentley's decision means the federal government will set up a health insurance exchange on behalf of the state. More

Obamacare will cost Tennessee more than $1 billion in first 5½ years
Knoxville News Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The federal health reform law will cost the state of Tennessee up to $1.4 billion in its first five and a half years, most of which will be incurred even if Tennessee doesn't create its own health insurance exchange or expand its TennCare/Medicaid program, TennCare officials said. Gov. Bill Haslam must notify the federal government by Nov. 16 if he plans to create a state-level health insurance exchange or defer to a federally run exchange, which could cost the state even more in the long run without any state control. The governor said he's awaiting answers from Washington on details of state control before deciding, but seemed to be leaning toward a state exchange in his remarks during and after TennCare's budget hearing. More



Lawmakers at odds over Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma
Tulsa World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two Republican physicians in the Oklahoma House of Representatives disagree on whether Gov. Mary Fallin should accept federal funding to expand Medicaid and decrease the number of uninsured Oklahomans. State Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, says the state can't afford to accept the money. State Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove, says the state may not be able to afford not to. The primary means for reducing the number of poor people without health coverage under the Affordable Care Act is a massive increase in the Medicaid program. More

Budget cuts threaten Arizona healthcare system
Arizona Daily Wildcat    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Arizona faces challenges funding its healthcare system because of steep budget cuts, according to Gov. Jan Brewer's chief health adviser. Don Hughes, Brewer's healthcare policy adviser, delivered a lecture hosted by the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health to kick off Natural Rural Health Week. During the lecture, he described challenges Arizona will encounter with the expiration of the temporary 1-cent sales tax created by Proposition 100. The tax, set to expire in May, funds education, public safety and health and human services. More


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Still no decision on Nevada's Medicaid expansion proposal
Las Vegas Review-Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said he has not yet decided whether to expand the Medicaid program to cover residents earning slightly more than poverty-level wages and might not make that decision until Jan. 16, the date he delivers the State of the State address. "I won't be tied to a specific moment," said Sandoval, a Republican. "But we aren't going to wait till February," when the state Legislature meets. More

Human Arc to provide discount drug cards to its L&S client hospitals' uninsured patients
Marketwire via iStockAnalyst.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Human Arc, which provides reimbursement and other revenue enhancement services for hospitals and health plans, has announced that, through its recently acquired L&S Associates company, it will provide free prescription discount cards to uninsured patients L&S screens in Michigan. Expanding the free "RxDiscounts" prescription card program to L&S Associates, a supplier of Medicaid eligibility screening and enrollment service to Michigan hospitals, allows Human Arc another avenue to increase benefit to L&S client hospitals and their self-pay patients. More



New Keeping You Healthy Video: 'Reduction of ER Visits'
Horizon NJ Health    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Improper utilization of hospital emergency facilities by members enrolled in managed care plans continues to be an issue for health plans nationwide. Drs. Brian Bastecki and Philip Bonaparte discuss how Horizon NJ Health developed and implemented an initiative focused toward reducing member visits for nonemergency issues.

Free webinar: 'Medication Adherence & Identifying Nonadherent Patients' by Merck | 1 p.m. EST Nov. 27
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Merck cordially invites you to an interactive live medical education program titled: "A Profile of the Concept of Medication Adherence and Strategies to Identify Nonadherent Patients." The learning objectives are:
  • Define medication nonadherence and understand its prevalence among patients with chronic disease
  • Recognize the drivers of nonadherence and understand the importance of appropriate communication
  • Use the 10 Tenets model of medication adherence and the Adherence Estimator screening tool
Merck is sponsoring this program and the speaker is presenting on behalf of Merck. The program is a non-CME event and the information will be consistent with FDA guidelines. Click here for more information or register here for the live webcast. Note: Please select the Nov. 27 program from the list of available programs. On the registration form, you may use a job title for "Specialty" and your company name for "Affiliation."


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Free webinar: 'Optimizing Pharmaceutical Care and Measuring Outcomes in a Collaborative Drug Therapy Management Program' | 1 p.m. EST Nov. 28
MHPA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Medication-related problems and medication mismanagement are massive public health problems in the U.S. Experts estimate that 1.5 million preventable adverse events occur each year that result in $177 billion in injury and death. In response to these problems, PerformRx, in collaboration with the AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies, successfully have developed a collaborative Drug Therapy Management program that has demonstrated significant reductions in emergency room visits and inpatient admissions, as well as significant costs savings. More

Health Insurance Exchanges Summit; MHPA's Thomas Johnson guest speaker | Nov. 29-30 | Las Vegas
Healthcare Education Associates    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Join Healthcare Education Associates Nov. 29-30 at the Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel for the Health Insurance Exchanges Summit. This health insurance exchanges conference will deliver real, actionable takeaways for effective exchange implementation. MHPA members are eligible for a 15 percent registration discount. Mention Priority Code HMP122 during registration to enjoy this offer. More



Insights webinar: 'Reduce Outsourcing Risk' | 11 a.m. EST Dec. 20
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Details here.

Free webinar by LexisNexis 'Why Identity Management Matters to Medicaid' postponed to Jan. 9
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The challenges of identity risk management can be boiled down to these two words: "Who's there?" At its core, this is the essence of security. Government efforts are driving much of the focus on identity management — a primary concern for the healthcare industry. Medical identity theft or improper access to sensitive records, as well as liability issues, are of paramount concern. Patients want to know what steps are being taken to ensure their privacy. As a Medicaid plan, you should not just be addressing the "what" of identity management — the technical side — but also the question of "who?" How do you know people are who they claim to be and what risks do they pose for the environments and systems they are attempting to enter? Clint Fuhrman, director of Government Health Care Programs for LexisNexis Risk Solutions, addresses these issues in a FREE 60-minute webinar. More

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