Noteworthy News

Archive for July, 2015


Will Growing Medicaid Costs Swamp State Budgets?

Many states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act have experienced far greater increases in enrollment than projected and are now worried about their future ability to pay for the increased costs associated with that greater enrollment. Medicaid enrollment growth in California was three times projected growth and in Kentucky it was twice the anticipated amount. Overall, more than a dozen states have experienced increases in enrollment that far exceeded their projections and many are now revising their spending projections to reflect those increases. The federal government is paying the full cost of Medicaid expansion through 2016 [&hellip

South Carolina Hospitals Reduce Readmissions

A state-wide effort among South Carolina hospitals has reduced readmissions in that state. With most of the state’s hospitals participating, the Preventing Avoidable Readmissions Together program (PART) used multi-disciplinary rounds, post-discharge phone calls, teach-back, better discharge summaries, and timely follow-up appointments to reduce readmissions rates more than ten percent among patients with acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and chronic pulmonary disease. Urban safety-net hospitals have found the financial penalties posed by Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program to be especially challenging. How did they do it? A recent article in the journal Population Health Management explains. Find it here

What’s Next for Medicaid Expansion?

With the Obama administration’s victory in the King v. Burwell challenge, attention again turns to Medicaid expansion in the states, where 21 states have yet to expand their Medicaid programs as authorized by the Affordable Care Act. Two of those 21 states – Alaska and Utah – are expected to seek federal approval for Medicaid expansion plans by the end of the year. The remaining states are in the south and west, and within those states, the decision not to expand is partly political and partly financial: some officials are opposed to expanding their Medicaid programs for ideological reasons while [&hellip

GAO Identifies Medicaid Challenges

As Medicaid marks its 50th anniversary, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) testified recently before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee on the major challenges facing the program. GAO’s testimony focused on four major issues: access to care transparency and oversight program integrity federal financing The GAO concluded that it …considers Medicaid a high-risk program due to its size, growth, diversity, and gaps in oversight… See GAO’s complete testimony here

Medicaid Highlighted in Latest Health Affairs

The journal Health Affairs has dedicated its July 2015 edition to “Medicaid’s Evolving Delivery Systems.” The edition includes the following articles about different aspects of Medicaid: “Medicaid’s Growing Role in Care Delivery” Once a Welfare Add-On, Medicaid Takes Charge in Reinventing Care” “Medicaid at 50: Remarkable Growth Fueled by Unexpected Politics” “Medicaid Moving Forward” “Community Health Centers and Medicaid at 50: An Enduring Relationship Essential for Health System Transformation” “Many Medicaid Beneficiaries Receive Care Consistent With Attributes of Patient-Centered Medical Homes” “MetroHealth Care Plus: Effects of a Prepared Safety Net on Quality of Care in a Medicaid Expansion Population” “Lessons [&hellip

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