Archive for Pennsylvania Medicaid policy
Pennsylvania will not seek federal permission to create a Medicaid work requirement, Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller told a joint hearing of the State Senate Republican Policy Committee and Health and Human Services Committee this week. Miller conveyed what a news release described as …the Wolf Administration’s firm opposition to work requirements for Medicaid recipients and the administration’s work to expand access to education and training programs and services to support employment for people served by DHS’ programs. In her testimony, Miller explained that Our goal is always to set policy and implement programs that empower Pennsylvanians to live fulfilling lives, support themselves and their families, contribute to our local economies, and build stronger communities. This is not … Read More
Pennsylvania’s Medicaid transportation program will soon be undergoing major change. By law, states must provide free non-emergency medical transportation for their Medicaid recipients. The Pennsylvania Medical Assistance Transportation Program has fulfilled that mandate for the past 35 years, with county governments shouldering primary responsibility for providing or arranging for the transportation for their Medicaid-covered residents. Under a plan adopted by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, which administers the state’s Medicaid program, that would change, with the state currently reviewing proposals from private vendors that would serve as brokers and assume this responsibility for large sections of the state: the eastern, central, and western parts of Pennsylvania. Changing the program in this manner would enable Pennsylvania to change the classification … Read More
An intuitive assumption now has evidence to support it: Medicaid expansion has improved the health of pregnant women and their babies. According to a new study from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families, …states that expand Medicaid improve the health of women of childbearing age: increasing access to preventive care, reducing adverse health outcomes before, during and after pregnancies, and reducing maternal mortality rates. Better health for women of childbearing age also means better health for their infants. States that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act saw a 50 percent greater reduction in infant mortality than non-expansion states. The report notes that the number of uninsured women of childbearing age in Pennsylvania fell … Read More
The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has published its March-April 2019 newsletter. Included in this month’s edition are articles about: The launch of a new tool to determine applicants’ eligibility for Medicaid-covered long-term services and supports. An update on Medicare Part D payment problems that affect some dually eligible Medicare/Medicaid patients. Highlights of the state’s Department of Human Services budget (including Medicaid). An update on the status of the Affordable Care Act. Go here for articles about these and other subjects.
Debt service on the state’s borrowing against future proceeds from the national master tobacco settlement agreement should be paid using state sales and use tax revenue, SNAP has declared in a new position statement. Last year the state borrowed $1.5 billion against future proceeds from the tobacco settlement. Some tobacco settlement money is used to help hospitals with the cost of uncompensated care they provide via tobacco uncompensated care payments and tobacco extraordinary expense payments made to hospitals that meet specific criteria: how much uncompensated care they provide, the proportion of their patients insured by Medicaid, and the proportion of low-income seniors they serve. All Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals qualify for these payments. Because the state’s borrowing against future tobacco settlement … Read More
Pennsylvania is making progress in the fight against opioids, according to a new report. At the heart of this progress has been improved access to medication-assisted treatment, enforcement of parity laws, enhanced access to naloxone, and better oversight of the care of Medicaid patients, including enhanced coverage of alternatives to opioids for pain management. The report also cites several areas where Pennsylvania can improve its efforts, including removing more barriers to care for patients with substance use disorders, improving access to alternative pain therapies, further expanding access to naloxone, and evaluating current policies and programs to ensure that they contribute to fighting the opioid challenge. Learn more in the report Spotlight on Pennsylvania: Leading-Edge Practices and Next Steps in Ending … Read More
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has released a report highly critical of pharmacy benefit managers and called for greater oversight of such companies. Citing PBMs’ lack of transparency, lack of oversight, and reimbursement disparity, DePasquale’s report, compiled after research and public hearings throughout the state that relied heavily on the testimony of independent pharmacies, includes 10 recommendations, among them several that directly address Medicaid in Pennsylvania. Those Medicaid-related recommendations are: To better control costs, Pennsylvania should consider directly managing its Medicaid prescription drug benefits instead of contracting with managed care organizations to do so. The General Assembly should pass legislation to use the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ National Average drug Acquisition Cost (NADAC) for pricing prescription drugs … Read More
The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has published the November 2018 edition of its newsletter. Included in this edition are articles about: Community HealthChoices, the state’s program of managed long-term services and supports for eligible Medicaid/Medicare beneficiaries; the return of General Assistance cash grants to Pennsylvania; Governor Wolf’s veto of legislation that would impose a work requirement on many Pennsylvania Medicaid recipients; an increase in the income limits for eligibility for PACENET, the state’s prescription drug assistance program; and a federal proposal to change “public charge” regulations. Find these stories and others here, in the latest edition of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project’s newsletter
The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has published the July/August 2018 edition of its newsletter. Included in this edition are articles about: proposed changes in Medicaid-covered behavioral health services for children; the launch in southeastern Pennsylvania of Community HealthChoices, the state’s program of managed long-term services and supports for the dually eligible Medicare/Medicaid population; Community HealthChoices’ person-centered services plans; and changes in how individuals will seek health insurance for 2019 through the federal health insurance marketplace. Find these stories and others here, in the latest edition of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project’s newsletter.
The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has published the June 2018 edition of its monthly newsletter. Included in this edition are articles about: Changes in Pennsylvania Medicaid’s medical transportation program governing non-emergency transportation. The renewal of the state’s hospital tax and an increase in that tax. Challenges surrounding the implementation of Community HealthChoices, the state’s new program of managed long-term services and supports, in southwestern Pennsylvania. Information about the launch of Community HealthChoices in southeastern Pennsylvania. A provision in a recent bill modifying the state’s human services code that calls for the Department of Human Services to develop a new, outcomes-based program for hospitals and Medicaid managed care plans that will be oriented toward preventing potentially avoidable medical events. Find these … Read More