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SNAP Takes Position on State Medicaid Funding After Hahnemann Closure

Pennsylvania’s Medicaid resources should follow now-closed Hahnemann University Hospital’s Medicaid patients as those patients turn to new providers, the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania declared in a position statement issued this week. According to SNAP, …the best way to protect access to care and prevent additional financial strain on Philadelphia hospitals is to ensure that all state resources reallocated in the wake of Hahnemann University Hospital’s closure follow the displaced patients. In preparation for addressing this challenge, SNAP performed a data-based analysis of where Medicaid patients turned for care upon the closing of St. Joseph’s Hospital, like Hahnemann a high-volume Medicaid provider and located in the same community as Hahnemann, in 2016.  This analysis identified where patients went when St. Joseph’s … Read More

Posted in Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania Medicaid policy, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

New Public Charge Rule Could Affect Immigrants, Providers

Legal immigrants may become reluctant to seek government-sponsored health care and providers may find themselves delivering more uncompensated care in the wake of the adoption of a new federal “public charge” regulation that seeks to define more narrowly the kinds of individuals who should be granted entry to the U.S. in the future. The new Department of Homeland Security regulation, while focused on applicants for entry into the U.S., could have the unintended effect of discouraging legal immigrants from enrolling in Medicaid, CHIP, and other government programs and even lead them to disenroll from such programs out of a mistaken concern that participating in such programs could jeopardize their status as legal immigrants.  The Kaiser Family Foundation, in fact, estimates … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

The Role of Medicaid in Addressing Social Determinants of Health

Medicaid can play a major role in addressing the social determinants of health. Or so argues a recent post on the Health Affairs Blog. According to the post, social determinants of health – income, education, decent housing, access to food, and more – significantly influence the health and well-being of individuals – including low-income individuals who have adequate access to quality health care.  Medicaid, the post maintains, can play a major role in addressing social determinants of health. The post outlines the role state Medicaid programs can play in addressing social determinants of health; describes tools for such action such as section 1115 Medicaid demonstration waivers; offers examples of efforts currently under way in some states; and presents suggestions for … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, social determinants of health

DHS Secretary Says No to Medicaid Work Requirements

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

Posted in Pennsylvania Medicaid policy, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Administration Ramps Up Scrutiny of Immigrants’ Use of Public Benefits

Immigrants’ sponsors could be more likely to be held financially responsible for the cost of public benefits those immigrants receive under a new memorandum issued by the White House. The requirement itself is not new; the purpose of the memorandum is to encourage federal agencies to enforce existing laws that state that, according to the memorandum, …when an alien applies for certain means-tested public benefits, the financial resources of the alien’s sponsor must be counted as part of the alien’s financial resources in determining both eligibility for the benefits and the amount of benefits that may be awarded.  Financial sponsors who pledge to financially support the sponsored alien in the event the alien applies for or receives public benefits will … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Medicaid Expansion Helps Pregnant Women and Their Babies

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

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

SNAP Joins Letter Urging Preservation of Tobacco Funding

The Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania has joined 10 other organizations in urging Pennsylvania’s General Assembly to use 100 percent of Tobacco Settlement Fund monies for health-related services and programs in the coming fiscal year. For FY 2018-2019, Pennsylvania borrowed against future proceeds from the Tobacco Settlement Fund to help balance the state budget.  Debt service payments will soon be due and the Wolf administration has proposed paying that debt service with proceeds from the state’s sales and use taxes.  In a letter to state legislators, SNAP and the others endorse this aspect of the administration’s proposed budget FY 2019-2020 budget. Tobacco fund proceeds are vital to Pennsylvania’s safety-net hospitals, helping to compensate them for some of the care they provide … Read More

Posted in Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania proposed FY 2020 budget, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

New Poverty Level Standards to Jeopardize Medicaid Eligibility?

The Trump administration is considering changing how the federal government measures inflation for the purpose of calculating the federal poverty level. Such a change, if implemented, could potentially reduce inflation-related increases in the federal poverty level, which in turn could limit the ability of some individuals and families to qualify, or continue to qualify, for a variety of public safety-net services – including, potentially, Medicaid. Among the possible alternatives to the current methodology for calculating inflation is the Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.  The Obama administration also explored substituting this index for the current inflation factor. Any change that makes it more difficult for people to qualify for Medicaid could be particularly damaging to Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Senate Finance Committee Reports on Supplemental Medicaid Payments

The majority members of the Senate Finance Committee have published a report on supplemental Medicaid payments. According to the new document, This report seeks to increase educational understanding of Medicaid supplemental payments, as well as outline the reporting mechanisms for these payments to ensure adequate stewardship of taxpayer dollars.  The report consists of descriptions of the different types of supplemental Medicaid payments that states make to some providers, including: Medicaid disproportionate share payments (Medicaid DSH) non-DSH payments upper-payment limit payments (UPL payments) demonstration supplemental payments medical education payments It also describes the magnitude of these payments, noting that supplemental Medicaid payments accounted for $50 billion of the $600 billion spent on Medicaid by the federal and state governments in 2016, … Read More

Posted in DSH hospitals, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Uninsured ED and Inpatient Visits Down Since ACA

Uninsured hospital admissions and emergency department visits are down since passage of the Affordable Care Act. And Medicaid-covered admissions and ER visits are up, according to a new analysis. The report, published on the JAMA Network Open, found that ER visits by uninsured patients fell from 16 percent to eight percent between 2006 and 2016, with most of this decline after 2014, while uninsured discharges fell from six percent to four percent. The rate of uninsured ER visits declined, moreover, at a time when overall ER visits continued to rise. While the Affordable Care Act is likely the cause of most of these changes, other contributing factors include the emergence of urgent care facilities, telemedicine, and free-standing ERs as well … Read More

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals
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2012 Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania