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Archive for July 2014

GAO Questions State Medicaid Financing

States are now financing more than a quarter of their share of Medicaid expenditures with money from sources other than state general funds, according to a new study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). According to the GAO, 26 percent of state share of Medicaid funding comes from taxes on health care providers, transfers from local governments and local government providers, and other sources.  Such funding, the GAO noted, shifts additional Medicaid costs to the federal government. Pennsylvania uses such funding mechanisms, including its gross receipts tax on Medicaid managed care organizations and state-wide and Philadelphia hospital assessments. Exacerbating this problem, the GAO reports, is that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which oversees Medicaid, does not assure … Read More

Posted in Pennsylvania Medicaid policy

PA Reverses “MAWD” Elimination

The Corbett administration has reversed an earlier decision and decided to retain Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance for Workers With Disabilities program, frequently referred to as “MAWD.” MAWD provides low-cost health insurance to Pennsylvanians with disabilities who do not otherwise qualify for Medical Assistance because they work and have earnings. The program, which serves about 34,000 people, costs the state $7 million a year.  A Department of Public Welfare spokesman said preserving the program is consistent with the Corbett administration’s Healthy Pennsylvania initiative. Learn more about MAWD here and about the decision to retain it in this Insurance Net News article.

Posted in Healthy PA, Pennsylvania Medicaid laws and regulations

Group to Assess Impact of Socioeconomic Factors on Care

The National Quality Forum (NQF) will perform a “robust trial” to assess the role and impact of sociodemographic factors on health care outcomes. In a news release, the NQF announced that Sociodemographic factors can be socioeconomic, e.g., income, education, and occupation, and demographic, e.g., race, ethnicity, and primary language. Growing evidence shows that sociodemographic factors may influence patient outcomes, which has implications for comparative performance measurement used in pay-for-performance programs. Among the socioeconomic and sociodemographic factors the NQF will consider are income, education, and occupation, and demographic considerations such as race, ethnicity, and primary language. With the Affordable Care Act requiring Medicare to adjust payments based on outcomes such as hospital readmissions, value-based purchasing requirements, hospital-acquired conditions, and more, reviews … Read More

Posted in Affordable Care Act

CMS Seeks to Jump-Start Medicaid Innovation

A new federal program seeks to encourage states to work faster to find ways to improve care and improve the health of their Medicaid patients and to reduce health care costs through payment and service delivery reforms. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) new Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program is a collaboration between the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office, and other federal agencies and centers.  According to a CMS fact sheet, the program …aims to jumpstart innovation in key areas while supporting states in their efforts to improve health, improve health care, and lower costs. In consultation with states and stakeholders, the IAP will develop strategically targeted … Read More

Posted in Uncategorized

Foundation to Track Effect of ACA on Hospitals

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has launched a project to measure the impact of the Affordable Care Act on hospitals. Working with 24 state hospital associations, the foundation’s Hospital ACA Monitoring Project will collect quarterly hospital data on admissions, emergency room visits, and selected diagnoses and procedures.  The project will collect data from different types of hospitals with different payer mixes. According to the foundation, the project “is designed to shed light on some of the effects of health reform on hospitals and provide extremely timely data to researchers, policymakers and hospital leaders.” Learn more about the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Hospital ACA Monitoring Project from this notice on the foundation’s web site.

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Health care reform
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