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MHPA offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23, for the holiday. We wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Study: Medicaid, private insurance give same access to healthcare
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Government Accountability Office recently took a deep dive into the Medicaid program. What it found was surprising: Medicaid beneficiaries tend to have nearly as good access to medical care as those on private coverage, despite the public program generally offering doctors lower payments. The key chart shows the percent of individuals reporting difficulty obtaining medical care between 2008 and 2009, broken down by insurance status. More

Obama administration extends deadline for state exchanges — again
Kaiser Health News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bowing to a request from Republican governors, the Obama administration announced that it would give states more time to decide whether to build online health insurance markets that will help millions of people buy coverage beginning next fall. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pushed back the deadline until Dec. 14 for states to submit letters of intent to build the state-based markets, called exchanges. The original deadline had been Nov. 16. More

Fiscal cliff: What is at stake for Medicare and Medicaid?
Kaiser Health News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In this video story, Jackie Judd talks to Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News about the budget negotiation scenarios for Medicare, where the "doc fix" fits into the budget picture, and whether Medicaid cuts are possible. More

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TMG Health names director of Medicaid services
PR Newswire via The Sacramento Bee    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
TMG Health, a national provider of expert solutions for health plans in the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D and Managed Medicaid markets, recently appointed Jeanne Wisnewski as director of development and business integration for Medicaid services. Wisnewski is responsible for directing complex Medicaid programs including client implementations. Wisnewski has more than 20 years of healthcare experience, having held various positions at Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania. More

HHS releases report on cost to expand Medicaid in New Hampshire under new federal healthcare law
The Associated Press via The Republic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New Hampshire could save up to $114 million if it decides not to expand Medicaid under the new federal healthcare law, but it would lose $2.5 billion in federal aid toward healthcare for the state's uninsured. The state Health and Human Services Department recently released the first part of a study on the impact of expanding Medicaid that examines the cost to the state from 2014 to 2020. The report offers preliminary estimates of what the state might save if it decides not to expand the program as well as estimates of what it would cost. More

Would expanding Medicaid pay off for Florida?
Health News Florida    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Florida could gain a badly-needed economic boost and thousands of new jobs each year if state officials accept federal funds to expand Medicaid, three new studies say. One study calculates the payoff at 16-to-1. The studies — two by university researchers, one by a hospital association — all took a decade-long view of the fiscal impact of enlarging Florida's health program for the poor. All found a significant net gain. More

Medicaid mystery: Who are all the new members in Connecticut?
The Connecticut Mirror    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ron Harney still is looking for work after being laid off from his marketing firm job three years ago. He's used up nearly all of his savings and says he's grateful for the state's Medicaid program, which covers the medical care he needs to manage his HIV. "I rely on it week to week," the 43-year-old Stamford, Conn., resident said. Harney is part of a group that took state officials by surprise, one of more than 37,000 people who joined a new portion of the Medicaid program since it was created in 2010 to replace a state-funded form of coverage. More

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Florida governor ready to negotiate state exchange
Kaiser Health News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said that he's open to building a state-based health insurance exchange under the healthcare law — but only if he can find a way to pay for it that doesn't increase health costs or state taxes. Scott, the former hospital chain CEO who has been one of the most vocal Republican critics of the law, said he also would be open to expanding Medicaid as called for in the law — but the federal government first has to approve his request to require virtually all beneficiaries to get coverage under a private managed care plan. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has yet to rule on the request submitted in 2011. More

Oklahoma becomes latest to reject state-based health exchange
The Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Add Oklahoma to the list of Republican-led states that won't implement the key feature of President Barack Obama's healthcare law. Gov. Mary Fallin said that she won't set up a state-based insurance exchange — a new portal where people who don't get insurance through their employers can shop for coverage, often with help from a federal subsidy. Fallin's decision means that the federal government will now run Oklahoma's exchange, as it will in the other GOP-led states that have rejected their own exchanges. More

Mississippi builds exchange despite objections of governor, tea party
Mississippi Public Broadcasting via Kaiser Health News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Mississippi Insurance Department officially told the federal government that it will run its own health insurance exchange and plans to file the exchange blueprint. If the state had not set up an insurance exchange, which is an online marketplace for comparison shopping for health insurance called for by the healthcare overhaul law, the federal government would have done it instead. Mississippi is one of the states leading the way toward an exchange, despite the objections of Republican Gov. Phil Bryant and local tea party activists. More

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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
MHPA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
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
MHPA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Details here.

Free webinar by LexisNexis 'Why Identity Management Matters to Medicaid' | 1 p.m. EST Jan. 9
MHPA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
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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