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CMS lays out potential changes to 2016 MA, part D star
ratings program

Inside Health Policy (Subscription required)
CMS is asking for feedback on potential changes to the 2016 Medicare star ratings program for Medicare Advantage and drug plans in a request for comment issued on Nov. 21.
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Former Pennsylvania welfare secretary tapped to lead Gov.-elect Wolf's Medicaid expansion pursuit during transition
The Patriot-News
Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Wolf is tapping former Gov. Ed Rendell's public welfare secretary Estelle Richman to serve on his transition team as its Medicaid adviser. Richman left Rendell's cabinet in 2009 after six years in the post to take a job as chief operating officer at U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. Richman's role on the transition team entails leading efforts to fully expand Medicaid and undo changes that were part of outgoing Gov. Tom Corbett's version of the Medicaid expansion.
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NASBO report: State-level spending grew last year, thanks
largely to Obamacare

The Washington Post
State spending last year grew at its fastest pace since before the recession, thanks mostly to an infusion of spending through Obamacare. Overall, spending was up 5.7 percent in fiscal 2014, according to a new report from the National Association of State Budget Officers. That's up from 2.2 percent the year before and 1.1 percent before that.
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Prematurity Awareness Month news: MHPA releases brief on health plan roles to reduce preterm birth; Capitol Hill briefing on Dec. 11
MHPA
To commemorate World Prematurity Day, MHPA, the national advocacy group for Medicaid managed care organizations, released "Preterm Birth Prevention: Evidence-Based Use of Progesterone Treatment — Issue Brief and Action Steps for Medicaid Health Plans" to help health plans target the problem of preterm birth, the leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality in the U.S. MHPA will participate in a Capitol Hill briefing on Dec. 11 featuring the March of Dimes and other stakeholder groups (details to follow).
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New York Medicaid inspector general leaving post
The Wall Street Journal
New York's inspector general for Medicaid, the state's largest annual expenditure, says he's leaving. In a message to staff, James Cox says they've done the job he set out to do, establishing 22 audit protocols that led to record recoveries, establishing solid standards and a productive relationship with medical providers.
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Early impacts of the Medicaid expansion for the homeless population
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
The Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion offers a significant opportunity to increase coverage and improve access to care for individuals experiencing homelessness, who historically have had high uninsured rates and often have multiple, complex physical and mental health needs. This analysis provides an early look at the impact of the expansion for homeless providers and the patients they serve, building on an earlier brief examining the potential role of Medicaid expansion for this population.
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Costly hepatitis C treatments help drive 12 percent drug spending jump
Kaiser Health News
After several years of modest increases, American spending on medications is projected to shoot up by 12 percent this year, pushing the nation's drug bill to between $375 billion and $385 billion, according to a report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
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Nov. 26 Webinar Wednesday: 'Why All Medicaid Managed Care Organizations Need an ACO Strategy'
Epstein Becker Green
The growth and persistence of the state ACO movement is being fueled by CMS' State Innovation Model grants and by state implementation of Medicaid accountable care organizations (ACOs) — 17 states have already implemented some form of Medicaid accountable care. Join Clifford Barnes, partner at Epstein Becker Green, PC, and Jenny Gladieux, senior health policy analyst for Health Policy Source, Inc., as they provide the tools to develop an understanding of how Medicaid ACOs affect Medicaid managed care and provide the rationale on why Medicaid managed care needs to develop state-specific ACO strategies.
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IIR's FDA/CMS Summit for Payers featuring MHPA's Jeff Myers | Dec. 11-12, Washington, D.C.
Institute for International Research USA
Hear from the FDA and CMS under one roof, along with C-level executives from top health plans, at the FDA/CMS Summit for Payers. The entire healthcare continuum is coming together to understand how to better interact with the government to remain compliant, adaptive, and successful as our landscape evolves to become more patient-centric. Collaborate with the most influential people in health care, including speakers MHPA's president and CEO Jeff Myers and Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA. Click here for more information.
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MHPA's Myers to speak at Sixth Annual Medicaid Innovations 2015 Forum | Feb 3-5, 2015 | Orlando
Medicaid Innovations Forum
Join MHPA President and CEO Jeff Myers at the Sixth Annual Medicaid Innovations 2015 Forum in February 2015. This meeting offers a unique combination of forward-thinking perspectives including first-hand case studies and examples of true innovation from both Medicaid managed care plans and state government agencies. The forum, which gathers hundreds of representatives from states, health plans and solution providers in one room, goes beyond policy to explore the specific strategies these organizations are leveraging to improve quality of care, reduce costs and position themselves for success in serving the rapidly expanding Medicaid population. Use Discount Code MHPA200 to receive $200 off the current rate.
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MHPA's Myers to chair WHCC 4th Annual Medicaid and Medicare Reform Summit | March 2015 | Washington, DC
World Congress
MHPA President and CEO Jeff Myers will chair the WHCC 4th Annual Medicaid and Medicare Reform Summit, a meeting that convenes executives from health plans, hospital systems and policy organizations to share, learn and discuss approaches to improve the quality of government programs and achieve payment and delivery reform. For conference details, agenda and registration, please visit here.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed our previous issues? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    MHPA's best practices letter to the Hill (MHPA)
Feds OK extension of Healthy Indiana Plan (Lafayette Journal & Courier)
US court rejects Maine's effort to trim Medicaid rolls (Reuters)
Most Illinois Medicaid patients denied new hepatitis C drugs (Chicago Tribune via Kaiser Health News)
New Medicaid rule could challenge state shift away from nursing homes (The Pew Charitable Trusts)
Prospects to expand Medicaid services in North Carolina dim for 2015 (News & Observer)
Report: US states get more, spend more on Medicaid under Obamacare (Reuters)

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


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First Quality
First Quality, a leading manufacturer of disposable home health care products, is seeking a clinical director for our Homecare & Managed Care Business. This candidate will provide leadership and have a focus on clinical education, utilization management protocols and programs and operational program development within home care and managed care markets.
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