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Health insurance tax to hit consumers, employers in all 50 states
AHIP Coverage    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The new health insurance tax included in the Affordable Care Act will increase the cost of healthcare coverage for consumers and employers in every state, according to a new state-by-state analysis conducted by Oliver Wyman for America's Health Insurance Plans. The ACA imposes a new sales tax on health insurance that starts at $8 billion in 2014, increases to $14.3 billion in 2018, and will continue to increase each year. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the health insurance tax will exceed $100 billion over the next 10 years. More

Van Hollen: Congress should pay down deficit by speeding ACA reforms    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said that he wants to help pay down the deficit by speeding Medicare delivery and payment reforms, including establishment of accountable care organizations, bundled pay and integrated care for dual eligibles. Also, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., signaled that he could go along with letting tax rates for the wealthy expire — he has said he does not feel bound to Grover Norquist's no-tax pledge — but added that such a policy must be accompanied with the type of entitlement reform that Van Hollen and Democrats dislike. Corker wants to see those major entitlement reforms agreed to before the end of the year, and he said he would not vote for a bill that assigns top-line cuts to Medicare without filling in the policy details of how those savings would be achieved. More

Whitehouse to Obama: Find savings in healthcare delivery
The Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., is urging President Barack Obama to consider healthcare delivery system reforms as a way to curb costs and not cut benefits. In a letter, Whitehouse said a federal target for savings driven by delivery reform would empower advocates and eliminate the need for cutting Medicare and Medicaid to reduce the deficit. More

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Safety-net hospitals: Don't cut Medicaid
The Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A coalition of public hospitals has launched a new campaign against cuts to Medicaid that could come as part of a deficit-reduction deal. At, the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems argues the low-income health insurance program is essential for a healthy economy. More

Poll: Public wants entitlements left untouched
NationalJournal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As Democrats and Republicans in Washington remain at odds over how to reshape the nation’s finances and prevent it from falling over the fiscal cliff, the public is supportive of cutting spending and at the same time more protective than ever of entitlement programs such as Medicare. Traditional cleavages of class and race, age and income, and even region are apparent in the latest edition of the United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, but they are far more muted than on issues such as President Barack Obama's re-election or the fate of his signature healthcare law. When it comes to the tax and spending issues that are at the heart of negotiations in Washington, primarily between the president and House Speaker John Boehner, the public is eager to defend the entitlement programs. More

Medicaid and the upcoming fiscal cliff negotiations on Capitol Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new analysis by Professor Sara Rosenbaum, JD, the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, indicates Medicaid cuts that are being considered by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Washington as a means to avoid the fiscal cliff may well spell the end to medical reform in the form of Obamacare. More

Uninsured rate among children eligible for Medicaid, CHIP falls 10 percent
Healthcare Finance News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Despite the economic downturn, the number of uninsured children eligible for Medicaid and CHIP programs fell to 4.4 million in 2010, a 10 percent decrease from the 4.9 million who were uninsured in 2008, according to an analysis of government data recently released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In all, the government figures show that 86 percent of all children not eligible for private insurance are enrolled in the public insurance program that are intended to provide insurance for children and enable them to get needed healthcare. More

KHN changes how it describes Medicaid eligibility level under health law
Kaiser Health News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Since President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in March 2010, most news organizations including Kaiser Health News have reported that in 2014 the law would expand Medicaid coverage to nearly everyone with a household income below 133 percent of the federal poverty level, which this year is nearly $31,000 for a family of four. But that doesn’t describe the full picture for those newly eligible for Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor. Under the law, there is a fixed dollar amount that varies by family size that is disregarded each year, which in effect raises the threshold to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or nearly $32,000. More

California's huge experiment aims to save on care for poorest, sickest patients
Kaiser Health News/USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It is usually after the mail arrives that Della Saavedra comes undone. That's when she sits in her living room in this struggling Los Angeles suburb and sorts through the latest round of letters from her health plan, each rejecting her appeal to stay with her trusted oncologist at City of Hope, a local cancer center. For as long as she can remember, Saavedra, 53, a former cafeteria worker who suffers from bone marrow cancer, has been insured through Medicaid, the joint federal-state program for low-income people. For most of that time, she could go to any doctor willing to take her, but last year, California revamped the program and assigned her to a managed care plan with a restricted network of doctors. Her oncologist is not on its roster. More

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Duals project edges closer to completion in California
California Healthline    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than 300 people attended a Department of Health Care Services seminar recently in California, offering details of the duals demonstration project, also known as the Coordinated Care Initiative. The department recently released several reports, including a draft of the care coordination and long-term services and supports readiness standards. Those guidelines are a big step toward the state's readiness plan it eventually will need to submit to CMS, said Jane Ogle, deputy director of DHCS. The state released a summary of some of the significant details in the reports. More

Florida lawmakers grapple with Medicaid reform delays
Tampa Bay Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lawmakers kicked off the House healthcare committee with a heated debate over whether the state is adequately prepared to implement state Medicaid reform and the federal Affordable Care Act. Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Liz Dudek said Florida is on track to move poor and disabled Medicaid recipients into private managed care health plans by 2014. She said President Barack Obama's federal healthcare overhaul, which — if the state complies — could bring thousands of new recipients into the Medicaid program, will be dealt with separately from the statewide reform. More

Wyoming lawmakers say Medicaid expansion unlikely
The Associated Press via Modern Healthcare    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some key Wyoming lawmakers say they see little chance the Legislature will expand the Medicaid program in coming months now that Gov. Matt Mead has recommended against doing so. Mead rolled out his budget recommendations, advocating against accepting $50 million in federal funds to expand the low-income healthcare program. The expansion proposal is a cornerstone of the federal Affordable Care Act. Wyoming has about 77,000 people on Medicaid, and the proposed expansion could add another 30,000 by raising eligibility limits. The Wyoming program currently costs about $500 million a year, split evenly between the state and federal governments. More

Interactive: Texas compares state Medicaid expansions
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If Texas lawmakers decide to expand Medicaid, as called for in the federal Affordable Care Act, the spending, savings, enrollment growth and reduction in the number of uninsured residents are poised to be greater in Texas than in most other states. This interactive compares the expansion of Medicaid in each state using data from a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan healthcare think tank. Expanding Medicaid in Texas would have the third-highest total cost — behind New York and California — at $478.3 billion from 2013 to 2022. More

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Tennessee health budget explores Medicaid expansion options, 5 percent payment cuts    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tennessee health officials recently presented a health budget to their governor that estimates the state would spend $199.1 million over five-and-a-half years if it fully expanded its Medicaid program to 138 percent of the federal poverty — which is $40 million more than they say it would cost to partially expand Medicaid but the amount pales in comparison with the state's up to $1.4 billion in unavoidable costs emanating from the health reform law. The budget describes several Medicaid options and also outlines a plan to cut the state's health budget by 5 percent in 2014 by reducing provider pay, and eliminating hospice and other services. More

ACA opponent: Kansas governor should reconsider stand on insurance exchange
Kansas Health Institute    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Like Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Bob Laszewski is a staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act. Despite that, the Washington, D.C., consultant said at a recent meeting that Brownback is making a mistake by refusing to partner with the federal government to run the Kansas health insurance purchasing exchange that the law requires to be operational by 2014. "Do the partnership. That is a no-brainer," Laszewski said to about 100 legislators, lobbyists and healthcare providers at a meeting sponsored by the Kansas Health Institute, the parent organization of the KHI News Service. More

Report: Health disparities cost US economy $82 billion in higher healthcare spending, lost productivity
PR Newswire via The Press-Enterprise    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A report recently released by the National Urban League Policy Institute found that African-Americans continue to pay a disproportionate price for health disparities, spending $54.9 billion of the total $82.2 billion for the U.S. in healthcare costs and lost productivity. The report, "The State of Urban Health: Eliminating Health Disparities to Save Lives and Cut Costs," was underwritten by Walgreens Corporation, and examined the economic impact of health disparities in the U.S. using two measures: direct medical costs; and the indirect cost because of lower labor market productivity. More

Free webinar: ' Successful Patient-Centered Medical Home Strategies with Medicaid Practices' | 3 p.m. EST Dec. 11
Qualis Health    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Qualis Health is providing targeted technical assistance to practices in support of Medicaid providers through the practice transformation process as they become high-functioning patient-centered medical homes. Qualis Health has worked with Medicaid health plans and other organizations to design and implement PCMH programs, including recruiting participating sites, helping to select practices, assessing practice transformation readiness, and preparing gap analysis and individual technical assistance plans for each practice. Qualis health also is supporting participating practices attain NCQA PCMH recognition. Please join us Dec. 11 when Qualis Health will highlight its technical assistance consultation work with Medicaid managed care in a free 60-minutes Webinar featuring Bonni Brownlee, MHA, CPHQ, CPEHR, consulting director at Outlook Associates, a division of Qualis Health. Click here to register. More

Insights webinar: 'Proper Capitation Rates for Hemophilia Patients' | 11 a.m. EST Dec. 17
Baxter    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For details, click here.

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Insights webinar: 'Reduce Outsourcing Risk by CGS' | 11 a.m. EST Dec. 20
MHPA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Refine your outsourcing process and reduce ongoing operational risk by implementing a vendor qualification and review tool. The CGS presentation, "Reduce Outsourcing Risk with a Vendor Qualification and Review Process," demonstrates how to qualify a supplier during the selection process using a defined set of scoring criteria and how to use the same criteria to manage the supplier during ongoing operations. More detail and registration 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

MHPA CEO Thomas Johnson to speak at Strategic Solutions Network's 4th Annual 'Medicaid Innovations Forum' | Feb. 5-7 | Orlando, Fla.
MHPA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Medicaid Innovations is designed to be the meeting place for all participants in the Medicaid universe who want to participate, share and learn about innovations that promote quality improvement, cost reduction and transformation in the face of reform. Use discount code MHPA when registering to receive a $200 discount off the current rate. For complete agenda and to register, click here.

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