Noteworthy News

Archive for May, 2012


Safety Net Fraying in Sacramento

The health care safety net is failing in Sacramento, California, leaving more than 400,000 residents who are covered by Medicaid or are uninsured with very limited access to primary care services. The county, which once operated six public clinics, now has just one, leaving many low-income patients with only hospital emergency rooms to turn to for care.  Other free clinics are overwhelmed. Read more about the situation today in this urban part of California in this Sacramento Bee article

Enrollment, Not Costs, Key Driver of Rising Medicaid Costs

Enrollment increases spurred by the weak economy have been the primary force driving up state and federal Medicaid spending. Meanwhile, Medicaid spending for health care services is growing slower than other sectors of the health care industry. These are among the conclusions reached in “Enrollment-Driven Expenditure Growth:  Medicaid Spending During the Economic Downturn, FFY 2007-2010,” a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.  Read that report here

New Agency Shares Goals, Plans

The new federal Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office has released a presentation in which it shares information about its mission, goals, programs, and plans. The agency was create by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to foster a more focused approach to the challenge of better serving the dual-eligible population. Urban safety-net hospitals should have special interest in this office’s activities because of the unusually large numbers of dual-eligibles they serve. Download the new office’s presentation here

Feds Award $728 Million for Community Health Centers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $728 million in grants to help expand and improve community health centers that primarily serve low-income Americans. The funding came through the Affordable Care Act. Many of these community health centers expect a significant new influx of patients when Medicaid rolls expand and health insurance becomes more affordable to low-income families in 2014. Read more about the new federal funding, where it will go, and how it will be used in this Kaiser Health News report

Ohio Seeks Bids to Serve Dual-Eligibles

The state of Ohio is seeking bids from managed care organizations interested in serving 115,000 of the state’s dual-eligibles:  low-income seniors insured by both Medicare and Medicaid. In all, the state has 182,000 dual-eligibles.  The new program seeks to serve many of them in seven demonstration programs scattered across the state. Learn more about Ohio’s plans in this Columbus Dispatch article

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