Noteworthy News

Archive for April, 2012


Connecticut Turns Back the Medicaid Clock

Approximately 70 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries today are served by Medicaid managed care plans.  States have increasingly turned to managed care over the years to serve their Medicaid beneficiaries, reasoning that such an approach saves money and improves access to care. But one state – Connecticut – disagrees. On January 1, Connecticut severed its relationships with managed care plans and began paying for Medicaid services on a fee-for-service basis.  State officials believe this will save them money and, with the addition of case management services, improve care for its Medicaid population. Whether this is an isolated development or the beginning [&hellip

Hospitals Struggle to Achieve “Meaningful Use”

Hospitals are not meeting the “meaningful use” criteria for use of information technology that will enable them to secure federal funds set aside for them to invest in such resources. Last week, members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) expressed concern about this, noting that providers in general are not attesting to achieving a level of meaningful use of health care IT at the rate the federal government had projected. Read more about meaningful use and MedPAC’s concern about it in this iHealthBeat report

Medical Homes Explained

“Medical homes” are receiving a lot of attention these days. But what is a medical home?  What does it mean and how does it work?  Is it different from the “gatekeepers” that HMOs used to employ? The Harrisburg Patriot-News explores the concept of the medical home and how some people think it will improve care, keep people healthier, and save money.  Read the article here

Focus on Dual Eligibles

Much of the focus of health care reform has been on how best to serve so-called dual eligibles:  the nine million or so people in the U.S. today – mostly seniors – whose health care is paid for by both Medicare and Medicaid. But who are these dual eligibles?  For what aspects of their care is Medicare responsible?  For what aspects is Medicaid responsible?  What services are they using and how might better coordination of care between the two programs produce healthier seniors while saving money? Dual eligibles are of particular concern to urban safety-net hospitals because of the especially [&hellip

Ohio Pursues New Dual-Eligible Program

The state of Ohio has asked the federal government for permission to test a new approach to serving its dual-eligible population:  individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. The program, which would be piloted in seven urban areas of the state and serve nearly 115,000 people (of the state’s 182,000 dual eligibles), would emphasize better coordination of care and less use of nursing homes and would seek to save the state money. Read more about Ohio’s proposed program in this Columbus Dispatch article

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