Noteworthy News

Archive for July, 2015


CMS Proposes New Medicaid Substance Abuse Initiatives

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a new initiative designed to improve how states identify and serve Medicaid beneficiaries with substances use disorders (SUD). According to a recent notice sent by CMS to state Medicaid directors, the agency is proposing … an opportunity to allow states embarking on broad and deep system transformations in the area of SUD to pursue 1115 demonstrations to improve the care and outcomes for individuals with SUD. This new initiative would be available to states that are developing comprehensive strategies to ensure a full continuum of services, focusing greater attention to [&hellip

CMS to Expedite Review of Some Medicaid Waiver Applications

The federal government will streamline the renewal process for state Medicaid waivers for demonstration programs that are established and achieving their goals and for which major changes are not being proposed. According to an informational bulletin issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), This process is designed to facilitate faster review of and federal decisions regarding state requests to extend established 1115 demonstrations, reducing administrative burden on states and the federal government. This approach streamlines the extension process for those states with established demonstrations that are working successfully and who are not proposing to make major or [&hellip

The Challenges Medicaid Faces

As it celebrates is fiftieth birthday, Medicaid now covers 70 million Americans at a cost of $500 billion a year. As the program continues to grow amid the expansion facilitated by the Affordable Care Act, Kaiser Health News has identified the five biggest challenges the program faces today: controlling costs getting all states to expand income eligibility providing better oversight of managed care ensuring access to doctors and dentists meeting the growing demand for long-term care For a closer look at these challenges and what they entail, see this Kaiser Health News article

GAO Looks at Behavioral Health Options

Access to behavioral health services can be a challenge for low-income adults, so the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently looked into those challenges. In a new report, the GAO examined how many low-income adults have behavioral health problems, where they can go to receive the care they need – including whether there are differences in those options depending on whether the state in which the reside has expanded its Medicaid program – how Medicaid expansion states are providing coverage for behavioral health for newly eligible beneficiaries, and how obtaining Medicaid coverage affects the ability of such individuals to get [&hellip

Graduate Medical Education: Boon or Bane for Hospitals’ Bottom Line?

Do hospitals make money on graduate medical education? Do they lose money subsidizing positions above and beyond the funding they receive for completing the training of the next generation of doctors? Are there other benefits hospitals reap from medical education training programs – and are those benefits worth the cost? This is an important question for the many non-profit urban safety-net hospitals that also are teaching hospitals. Crain’s Detroit Business has taken a look at some of the surprisingly complex considerations that go into answering what seem like very simple questions. Go here for its report “Hospitals say they subsidize [&hellip

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