Noteworthy News

Archive for June, 2014


One State Sees Major Drop in Uninsured

Are Affordable Care Act reforms putting a dent in the number of uninsured Americans? They certainly are in Minnesota. According to a study by the University of Minnesota’s State Health Access Data Assistance Center, the number of uninsured residents in the state fell more than 40 percent in the six months after September 30, 2013. Minnesota chose to expand its Medicaid program, as provided for in the Affordable Care Act, and also operated its own health insurance exchange. See the numbers and learn more about how and why the state experienced such a major change in the report Early Impacts [&hellip

States Using Reform Law to Experiment

A number of states are taking advantage of flexibility written into the Affordable Care Act to experiment with different ways to purchase, deliver, and pay for health care. Vermont, for example, is considering a single-payer program in which all state residents would enroll in a state-run health insurance program.  Maryland and Massachusetts are setting health care spending targets and penalizing providers that exceed those targets. Medicaid has inspired a number of state experiments as well.  Wisconsin seeks to enable higher-earning Medicaid recipients to leave Medicaid, taking with them tax credits that will enable them to purchase affordable health insurance in [&hellip

Waiting in Medicaid Limbo

More than 1.7 million people who have applied for Medicaid are still waiting for a decision on their eligibility. And some have been waiting for as long as eight months. More than half of those still waiting are in California while some live in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs. The delays have been attributed to problems transferring data received on the federal health insurance exchange to state governments, state programs overwhelmed with volume, technical problems in the states, and other reasons. Many of those who still await word on their application for Medicaid benefits undoubtedly live in [&hellip

Members of Congress Urge Delay in Medicare DSH Cuts

Fifty-eight members of the House of Representatives have written to House leadership asking them to delay the continued implementation of Affordable Care Act-mandated Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) cuts. The letter, to House Speaker John Boehner and minority leader Nancy Pelosi, notes that …hospitals that qualify for Medicare DSH are, by definition, the very providers caring for the greatest numbers of low-income and low-income elderly patients.  In recent years, hospitals have incurred $270 billion in Medicare cuts, including reductions in their annual cost-of-living adjustments, penalties through Medicare’s value-based purchasing and readmissions reduction programs, reduced Medicare bad debt reimbursement, and continued [&hellip

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