Archive for January 2016
The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has published the January 2016 edition of Health Law News, its monthly newsletter. Included in this edition are an update on the state’s proposed Community HealthChoices program, which would require dual-eligible Pennsylvanians to receive long-term services and supports through new managed care organizations; a summary of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project’s formal comments about that proposed program; and information about the state’s Medical Assistance Transportation Program and its proposed transition plan for home and community-based services. Find the latest edition of Health Law News here.
As Medicare continues to move toward making provider payments based on patient outcomes rather than services provided, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has issued a new report on the potential impact of socio-economic factors on those patient outcomes. The report, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is based on a literature search and identifies five socio-economic risk factors that could affect Medicare patient outcomes and quality measures: socio-economic status; race, ethnicity, and cultural context; gender; social relationships; and residential and community context. HHS asked the Academies to look into this issue because of the growing perception that Medicare payment policies may be unfair to providers that care for especially large numbers of socio-economically … Read More
A new federal demonstration program will attempt to help low-income Medicare and Medicaid recipients gain access to services that ultimately will improve their health. The Accountable Health Communities project, developed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and launched by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is a $157 million demonstration program that … aims to identify and address beneficiaries’ health-related social needs in at least the following core areas: Housing instability and quality, Food insecurity, Utility needs, Interpersonal violence, and Transportation needs beyond medical transportation. The federal government intends to provide grants of up to $4.5 million to as many of 44 projects that pursue better ways to identify selected patients’ non-medical needs and connect those … Read More
In an op-ed piece in the Scranton Times-Tribune, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas has outlined his organization’s major achievements of 2015 and its plans for 2016. Among them are the state’s expansion of its Medicaid program and its plans to establish new contracts with HealthChoices managed care organizations that seek to shift the program’s emphasis from volume of care to value and outcomes through greater use of accountable care organizations (ACOs), bundled payments, patient-centered medical homes, and other value-based initiatives. Find Secretary Dallas’s commentary here.