Archive for Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania
SNAP was among 27 Pennsylvania health care organizations to send a joint letter to senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey pointing out aspects of the House-passed American Health Care Act that could jeopardize access to care for medically vulnerable Pennsylvanians. Among the issues addressed in the letter are how the House-passed proposal would detract from the role of Medicaid in fighting the state’s opioid crisis; the proposed reduction in tax credits to help purchase health insurance; the challenge posed by a per capita approach to Medicaid financing; the potential loss of health care jobs; the likelihood of large numbers of Pennsylvanians losing their health insurance and state Medicaid costs rising significantly; and the erosion of consumer protections. See the complete … Read More
The Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania has joined 13 other groups in writing to members of the state’s congressional delegation to warn about shortcomings in the American Health Care Act, health care reform legislation currently being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives. The letter warns that the American Health Care Act would “…dramatically reduce Medicaid coverage and strain resources for this critical program.” Read that letter here, on SNAP’s web site.
The Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania has written to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to object to how the agency proposes changing its methodology for calculating eligible hospitals’ Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) payments. In particular, SNAP opposes the manner in which CMS would treat payments from Medicare and third-party payers made on behalf of Medicaid-eligible individuals. In SNAP’s view, the letter notes, …the hospital-specific DSH limit has come to penalize the very hospitals that Medicaid DSH payments were designed to support. The SNAP letter explains that What concerns SNAP at this time is CMS’s apparent decision to rationalize and codify in regulations a narrower interpretation of the Medicaid DSH limit than what Congress described in section 1923(g) of … Read More
For the first time in more than 20 years, the federal government is introducing major changes in how it regulates Medicaid managed care. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services describes the 1425-page rule as aligning Medicaid managed care with other health insurance programs, updating how states purchase managed care services, and improving beneficiaries’ experience with Medicaid managed care. To learn more about what CMS has proposed, go here to see the rule itself. Go here to see CMS’s news release accompanying the new regulation. Go here to (under the link “final rule”) to find nine fact sheets summarizing key aspects of the new regulation. And go here for a commentary on the new rule and the context in which it was released by CMS acting administrator Andy … Read More
On Tuesday, February 9, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf presented his proposed FY 2017 budget to the state legislature. That budget proposal calls for changes in some current Medicaid spending, including reductions of some supplemental payments and the elimination of others, as well as changes in funding the state’s share of Medicaid and the rate at which the federal government will match Pennsylvania’s own spending on Medicaid in the coming year. In addition, the budget calls for new and increased spending in selected areas within the purview of the state’s Department of Human Services and Health Department. SNAP has prepared a detailed memo outlining the potential implications of the proposed FY 2017 budget for safety-net hospitals. The memo also addresses the complications … Read More
The Obama administration has informed state Medicaid programs that they may use federal Medicaid money to help the chronically homeless obtain housing. While a June bulletin to state Medicaid directors technically only clarified existing policy, it signaled states that the administration will be receptive to Medicaid waivers that propose using Medicaid funding to help the homeless obtain housing. Increasingly, state Medicaid programs have been finding that helping the homeless with housing is a key to improving their physical and behavioral health and can offer later savings as the individuals who have received such assistance live more stable lives, especially as more homeless people qualify for Medicaid benefits in states that have expanded their Medicaid programs. The Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania … Read More
A new study by California state public health officials has concluded that demographic factors have a major influence on individuals’ health. Among the factors specifically cited in the study are education, employment status, gender identity, race and ethnicity, income, and sexual orientation. In Portrait of Promise: The California Statewide Plan to Promote Health and Mental Health Equity, the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Health Equity identifies and describes the socio-economic factors that influence health status and proposes interventions for overcoming those challenges. SNAP has long pointed to such challenges as one of the chief distinctions between Pennsylvania’s safety-net hospitals and other hospitals in the state. See the California report here.
The Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania has urged Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services to pursue transformative innovation in the state’s HealthChoices Medicaid managed care program. In particular, SNAP has called on DHS to create regional health collaboratives consisting of both insurers and providers to work together to deliver better, more coordinated care to Pennsylvania’s Medicaid population. SNAP also recommended that the state finance innovation by implementing a Delivery System Reform Incentive Payments program, better known as DSRIP, to fund innovation in the state’s Medicaid program. SNAP’s suggestions came in response to a request for information issued by the state seeking recommendations for how to improve the HealthChoices program in anticipation of the state’s plan to rebid HealthChoices managed care contracts later … Read More