Archive for Uncategorized

Wolf Administration Launches Regional Accountable Health Councils

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has announced the formation of five Regional Accountable Health Councils, part of Governor Wolf’s Whole-Person Health Reform plan. According to a DHS news release, the RAHCs will “…lead efforts to address social determinants of health, reduce health disparities, and promote equity and value in health care” as part of “…a partnership between the Wolf Administration, Medicaid managed care organizations, hospitals and health systems, and community-based health and social service providers and organizations.” The news release explains that The RAHCs will provide opportunities for strategic health planning across the health care system and better collaboration between health care providers and social service organizations with the goal to develop strategies and partnerships addressing health needs and … Read More

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PA Sets Webinars for New “RISE PA” Program

Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services will hold webinars to introduce stakeholders to its “RISE PA” program and that program’s new vendor, “Aunt Bertha.” RISE PA” – “RISE” is short for “Resource Information and Services Enterprise” – is, according to DHS, a “…collaborative effort between multiple state agencies, counties, and local non-profits and community organizations, health care, and social services providers” that will “…serve as an access point to search and obtain meaningful information to help Pennsylvanians find and access the services they need to achieve overall well-being and improve health outcomes” while serving as a “…care coordination system for providers…and a closed-loop referral system that will report on the outcome of referrals.” DHS is introducing stakeholders to RISE PA through … Read More

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COVID-19 Update: Monday, February 22

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal and state government as of 4:30 p.m. on Monday, February 22. Pennsylvania Update Governor Wolf Governor Wolf has renewed his declaration of a state of emergency in Pennsylvania because of COVID-19.  See the announcement of the renewal and the renewal declaration itself, which covers a period of 90 days. Department of Health – by the numbers The number of new daily cases continues to decline In the past week the number of COVID-19 deaths has fallen significantly. More than 24,000 health care workers in Pennsylvania have contracted COVID-19, as have nearly 79,000 residents and employees of long-term-care facilities across the state.  The continual increase in these numbers since the start … Read More

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Medicaid Enrollment Rises in PA

Medicaid enrollment among adults in Pennsylvania was up 13 percent in December over the previous December and up 14 percent in January over the previous January for adults, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and disabled individuals. The increase has been driven by rising COVID-19 pandemic-related unemployment that has cost many people their health insurance along with their jobs. Learn more about the rising numbers – and the people behind them – in the Philadelphia Inquirer story “Medicaid enrollment soars as Americans lose jobs to pandemic: ‘I never thought I’d experience this.’”

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New Report on the Health of Children in PA

The health of children in Pennsylvania is the subject of a new report published by the Pennsylvania Partnership for Children. The report, “The 2020 State of Children’s Health Care in Pennsylvania:  Unlocking Access to a Healthy Childhood,” includes the following major findings: Pennsylvania has the 8th highest number of uninsured kids in the nation, with nearly 128,000 children who do not have health Pennsylvania’s uninsured rate for children increased slightly from 4.4% to 4.6%, signaling movement in the wrong direction. The most recent uninsured data from the S. Census Bureau was captured prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic, meaning more Pennsylvania kids headed into the public health emergency without basic health coverage. Factors such as age, poverty level, race and … Read More

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Number of Uninsured Children Grows in PA

The number of uninsured children in Pennsylvania grew, but just slightly, between 2016 and 2019. That’s according to a new study from the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. According to the study, the uninsured rate among children in Pennsylvania rose from 4.4 percent in 2016 to 4.6 percent in 2019 while the number of uninsured children rose from 126,000 to 128,000 during that same period of time. Learn more about the changes in Pennsylvania, national trends, and why these numbers have grown in the Georgetown study “Children’s Uninsured Rate Rises by Largest Annual Jump in More Than a Decade.”

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Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Rising in Pandemic

Medicaid enrollment rose 6.2 percent and CHIP enrollment 0.5 percent during the first four months of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reports. The enrollment increase can be traced to rising unemployment, with many people losing their employer-sponsored health insurance.  The new figures cover five months, from February through June, the latter four of which marked the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals already serve significant numbers of Medicaid and CHIP patients; an increase in their rolls will prove financially challenging to them. The information comes from CMS’s first monthly “Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Trends Snapshot.”  Go here for CMS’s news release explaining its new initiative and here to see the trends … Read More

Posted in Pennsylvania Medicaid, Uncategorized

COVID-19 Update: Friday, September 11

The following is the latest coronavirus information from the state and federal governments as of 1:30 p.m. on Friday, September 11. Pennsylvania State Government Department of State The Department of State has suspended the initial medical history and physical examination required for prescribing buprenorphine via telemedicine to treat opioid use disorder for the duration of the COVID-19 disaster declaration. Department of Health The Department of Health has revised its health alert Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Known or Patients Under Investigation for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in a Healthcare Setting to add information on extended-use eye protection and to update language regarding the use of respirators. The Department of Health has clarified that it does not … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Uncategorized

COVID-19 Update: Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Coronavirus update for Wednesday, June 17 as of 4:00 p.m. A Note About SNAP’s COVID-19 Updates Beginning the week of June 15, SNAP will prepare COVID-19 updates on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with additional updates as needed on subjects that are especially timely or important.  SNAP members and update subscribers will continue to receive their updates near the close of the business day and those updates will continue to be posted in this space the following morning. Pennsylvania Update The Courts The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed today to hear a lawsuit filed by Senate Republicans against  Governor Wolf seeking to enforce a resolution adopted by the General Assembly last week requiring the governor to end the COVID-19 disaster emergency proclamation … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Uncategorized

COVID-19 Update: June 4, 2020

Coronavirus update for Thursday, June 4 as of 2:30 p.m. Pennsylvania Update SNAP Advocacy Today SNAP wrote to Pennsylvania senators Robert Casey and Pat Toomey to ask them to pursue legislation with five major COVID-19-related policy initiatives that Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals need: A 14-point increase in the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP). An additional $100 billion for hospitals. Another delay in implementation of Affordable Care Act-mandated cuts in Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments. Prevention of implementation of the Medicare fiscal accountability regulation (MFAR). Reduced interest rates and a longer payback period for Medicare payments advanced to hospitals through the CARES Act’s Accelerated and Advance Payment Program. See SNAP’s letter here. Governor Wolf Governor Wolf announced that the Office of … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania, Uncategorized
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