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Eliminate Medicaid DSH Cut, SNAP Asks PA Delegation

A Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government in FY 2021 should eliminate a cut in federal Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments to the states, and the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania has written to the state’s congressional delegation asking its members to convey this message to congressional leaders. The cut was mandated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act but has never been implemented. In its letter to the delegation, SNAP wrote that The Medicaid DSH cut was predicated on the expectation that the Affordable Care Act would greatly reduce the number of uninsured Americans, and while it has, millions remain uninsured, including nearly 700,000 Pennsylvanians – a number thought to be rising because of the job loss associated with … Read More

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

Azar: Budget Proposes Reducing Medicaid Matching $

The federal government would reduce its financial commitment to state Medicaid programs under the FY 2021 budget the Trump administration proposed earlier this month. While testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar acknowledged that the administration’s proposed FY 2021 would eliminate the enhanced rate at which the federal government matches state funds used to serve individuals who enrolled in Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion provision.  That enhanced rate calls for the federal government to pay 100 percent of the costs associated with the Medicaid population during the first year of Medicaid expansion, eventually scaling down to 90 percent after 2020.  Nationally, the … Read More

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Federal Medicaid issues

Interview With Seema Verma

In late December, PBS broadcast an interview with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator Seema Verma.  Kaiser Health News has published a transcript of excerpts from that interview during which Verma discusses Medicaid – including enrollment, eligibility, services, and children – Medicare for all, administration attempts to reduce health care costs, protection for people with pre-existing conditions, and more.  Read those excerpts in the Kaiser Health News article “One-On-One With Trump’s Medicare And Medicaid Chief: Seema Verma.”

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Federal Medicaid issues, Health care reform

Medicaid DSH Cut Delayed

Scheduled cuts in Medicaid DSH payments to hospitals will be delayed until at least late May under new federal spending legislation. The cuts in Medicaid disproportionate share allotments to the states, mandated by the Affordable Care Act and delayed several times by Congress – including twice in FY 2020 alone under continuing resolutions to fund the federal government – are among a number of so-called “extenders” included in spending bills passed by Congress this week and sent to the president for his signature. Authorization for delaying the cut in allotments to the states, which would have resulted in reduced Medicaid DSH payments for many hospitals – including private safety-net hospitals – would expire on May 22.  Congress is expected to … Read More

Posted in Affordable Care Act, DSH hospitals, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania Medicaid

Medicaid DSH Cut Delayed

Cuts in Medicaid DSH payments to hospitals will be delayed for another month after Congress passed, and the president signed, a continuing resolution to fund the federal government through December 20. A cut in federal Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments to the states is mandated by the Affordable Care Act and has been delayed several times by Congress.  If implemented, Medicaid DSH allotments to the states would be slashed $4 billion in FY 2020 and then $8 billion a year through FY 2025. Cuts in allotments to the states would result in reductions of Medicaid DSH payments to DSH-eligible hospitals. Medicaid DSH payments are a vital tool for helping safety-net hospitals care for the low-income residents of their communities.  … Read More

Posted in Affordable Care Act, DSH hospitals, Federal Medicaid issues

Administration Shares Regulatory Priorities for 2020

The Trump administration’s health care regulatory priorities for 2020 have been outlined by the Office of Management and Budget in a newly released “Statement of Regulatory Priorities for Fiscal Year 2020.” The statement, an annual OMB document, organizes the priorities as follows: Facilitating patient-centered markets Fixing health care financing through protecting private insurance and Medicare Fixing health care financing through reforming the individual market Fixing health care financing through making the ACA and Medicaid fiscally sustainable Bringing value to health care through price and quality transparency Bringing value to health care through patient-centered health IT Bringing value to health care through deregulation, especially for coordinated care Bringing value to health care through tackling the high cost of prescription drugs Bringing … Read More

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicare

Medicaid Expansion Brings Improvements to Expansion States

States that expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act have experienced fewer hospital admissions, shorter lengths of stays in the hospital, and lower hospital costs, according to a new Health Affairs study. Specifically, they experienced: a 3.1 percent decline in inpatient days a 3.5 percent decrease in discharges for conditions considered “ambulatory care-sensitive,” such as diabetes, chronic respiratory problems, and pneumonia a reduction of nearly three percent in hospital costs. Pennsylvania is one of those expansion states, and Medicaid expansion has greatly enhanced the ability of Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals to serve their communities. Learn more about how Medicaid expansion has improved the health of the population in states that expanded their Medicaid programs in the Health Affairs study … Read More

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

ACA May be Improving, Saving Lives

The insurance expansion made possible by the Affordable Care Act may be improving and even saving lives, some studies and anecdotal evidence suggest. While observers warn that it is difficult to attempt to render a final verdict on the reform law’s insurance expansion and its impact, various studies and observations point to encouraging developments.  Among them: High blood pressure is being detected at a higher rate now among people who bought insurance as a result of the ACA than it was prior to the law’s passage. Fewer 19-26 year-olds, now permitted to remain on their parents’ health insurance, are choosing not to see a doctor about their asthma because of the cost of seeking care. Women in Michigan report having … Read More

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Pennsylvania Medicaid policy

CMS Adopts Methodology for Medicaid DSH Cuts

Medicaid DSH money will be allocated among states based on a new methodology under a regulation adopted this week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. But it is not clear when that new methodology may actually be used. Cuts in Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (Medicaid DSH) allotments to states were mandated by the Affordable Care Act based on the expectation that the law would greatly reduced the number of uninsured Americans.  While this has been the case, the decline in the number of uninsured has not been as great as expected.  For this reason, Congress has on several occasions delayed the required Medicaid DSH cut. That cut is now scheduled to take effect next week, on October 1, … Read More

Posted in Affordable Care Act, DSH hospitals, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Millions Eligible for Health Insurance Remain Uninsured

More than 15 million Americans who are currently entitled to free or subsidized health insurance are currently uninsured. Among them are 11 million who are eligible for Medicaid but have not applied for benefits and 4.2 million who could afford insurance with the help of federal premium subsidies and either have decided not to take advantage of those subsidies or are unaware of the availability of such subsidies. In addition, another two million people would be eligible for Medicaid if their states expanded their Medicaid program as authorized by the Affordable Care Act. In light of such figures, it is not entirely surprising that the uninsured rate, according to the census bureau, rose last year for the first time since … Read More

Posted in Affordable Care Act
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