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Archive for May 2016

New Tools for Addressing Old Medicaid Problems

The new federal Medicaid managed care regulation gives state Medicaid programs new tools with which to address longstanding Medicaid challenges. In an article titled “The Medicaid Managed Care Rule: The Major Challenges States Face,” the Commonwealth Fund describes the tools the rule does and does not offer for addressing five major Medicaid challenges: reaching medically underserved communities unstable eligibility and enrollment organizing coverage an care and developing effective payment incentives aligning managed care with health, education, nutrition, and social services information technology Find the article here, on the Commonwealth Fund’s web site.

Posted in Pennsylvania Medicaid laws and regulations, Pennsylvania Medicaid policy

Background Information on Payment Methodologies and Benefit Design

The Urban Institute has issued two new papers with background information on health care payment methodologies and the design of health care benefits packages. The first paper, Payment Methods: How They Work, describes nine payment methodologies: fee schedules primary care capitation per diem payments to hospitals for inpatient visits DRG-based payments to hospitals for inpatient visits global budgeting for hospitals bundled payments global capitation for organizations shared savings pay for performance The second paper, Benefit Designs: How They Work, explains seven different types of benefit designs: value-based design high-deductible health plans tiered networks narrow networks reference pricing centers of excellence benefit design for alternative sites of care A third paper, Matching Payment Methods with Benefit Designs to Support Delivery Reforms, describes how to … Read More

Posted in Health care reform

Pennsylvania Health Law Project Releases Monthly Newsletter

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has published the April 2016 edition of Health Law News, its monthly newsletter. Included in this edition are articles about a new, faster process the state has introduced for people to enroll in Medicaid; the awarding of contracts to managed care organizations to participate in the state’s HealthChoices program; an update on the Community HealthChoices program that will help nursing home-eligible seniors remain independent in the community; new funding for the state’s “Money Follows the Person” demonstration program; and more. Find the latest edition of Health Law News here.

Posted in HealthChoices PA, Pennsylvania Medicaid policy, Pennsylvania Medical Assistance

PA Awards HealthChoices Managed Care Contracts

Last week Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services awarded new contracts to managed care organizations to provide physical health services under the state’s HealthChoices Medicaid managed care program. Eight different organizations were awarded 23 separate three-year contracts, to take effect on January 1, 2017, to serve more than two million Medicaid beneficiaries in five state HealthChoices regions. All of the managed care organizations will be operating under a contractual mandate to increase how much care they provide on a value-based purchasing basis through accountable care organizations, bundled payment models, patient-centered medical homes, and other integrated care delivery approaches. They also will be required to coordinate their efforts more effectively with the behavioral health care organizations that serve their members. Learn more … Read More

Posted in HealthChoices PA, Pennsylvania Medicaid policy, Uncategorized

PA Medicaid: One Year, 625,000 New Beneficiaries

Last week marked the one-year anniversary of Pennsylvania’s Affordable Care Act-authorized expansion of its Medicaid program. In that year, nearly 625,000 Pennsylvanians enrolled in the program. Among them, 46 percent are under the age of 35 109,000 are parents 300,000 are employed If past Medicaid utilization patterns hold true, most of these new Medicaid beneficiaries will receive most of their health care benefits from the state’s private safety-net hospitals. Learn more about Pennsylvania’s Medicaid expansion, who has taken advantage of it, and how the program has changed in the past three years in this state news release.  

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania Medicaid policy, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Data-Sharing Could Help Address “High-Fliers”

A new study suggests that hospitals might better serve frequent emergency room patients if they share data with one another. According to a new report in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, nearly 70 percent of “high-fliers” – patients known to make repeated visits to hospital ERs – visited more than one hospital ER in a study of patients who had more than five ER visits in Maryland in 2014. As a result, individual hospitals may not have a complete picture of such patients’ medical issues and the frequency with which they are turning to hospitals for care – a problem that could detract from individual hospitals’ attempts to find better ways to serve such patients. A possible solution, the study suggests, … Read More

Posted in Uncategorized

Medicare Proposes New Way to Pay Docs

Clinicians would be paid based more on the quality of care they provide than on the quantity of services they deliver under a new Medicare quality reporting and payment proposal released last week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The proposal, required by Congress last year as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act that constituted the final “Medicare doc fix” and spelled the end of the sustainable growth rate formula that constrained Medicare payments to physicians for more than a decade, would be phased in over a period of years, would end so-called meaningful use requirements for physicians, and would compensate most clinicians based on their performance on quality measures, some of them of their … Read More

Posted in Medicare
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2012 Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania