This week, we revisited 2015 legislation introduced by Georgia Congressman Tom Price, who was announced this week as President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). Representative Price’s 2015 bill, H.R. 2300, known as the “Empowering Patients First Act,” included a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as well as all health care provisions in the related Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act passed in 2010. A version of the Empowering Patients First Act has been introduced in Congress every year since 2009. Below, we review Representative Price’s proposed replacement plans around insurance coverage, and provide brief summaries of some of the other provisions in the legislation.
This week, we revisited a 2011 report from the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee Health Care Task Force. The report, titled “A New Medicaid: A Flexible, Innovative and Accountable Future,” was prepared with input from governors, secretaries of health and human services, Medicaid directors, and other senior policy staff in the 31 states (including two territories) with Republican governors at the time. Across these 31 states, 20 of the governors in office at the time of the report are still in office. Only three of the 31 states (Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) now have Democratic governors in office, although Alaska’s new governor is an Independent who expanded Medicaid this year. The report provides more than 30 recommended solutions across seven broad principles that would “increase Medicaid’s efficiency and effectiveness as a part of the overall health care delivery system regardless of whether or not [the Affordable Care Act (ACA)] is repealed.”
This week, we reviewed recent Medicaid enrollment trends in capitated, risk-based managed care in 24 states. Many state Medicaid agencies elect to post monthly enrollment figures by health plan for their Medicaid managed care population to their websites. This data allows for the timeliest analysis of enrollment trends across states and managed care organizations. Nearly all 24 states have released monthly Medicaid managed care enrollment data through the third quarter (Q3) of 2016. This report reflects the most recent data posted.
This week, we reviewed the request for proposals (RFP) issued by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) on November 1, 2016, to reprocure Medicaid managed care contracts for the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) program. ALTCS is one of the oldest Medicaid managed long term services and supports (MLTSS) programs in the country, providing integrated acute care, LTSS, and behavioral health services to individuals who are elderly, individuals with physical disabilities, and individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD). However, this RFP only covers the roughly 26,500 individuals who are elderly or individuals with a physical disability (E/PD); this RFP does not include individuals with I/DD, who are covered through a state-run model.
This week, we reviewed the agreement-in-principle between the State of Washington Health Care Authority (HCA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on a new section 1115 demonstration waiver, which will further the state’s Healthier Washington initiative across three major dimensions. The agreement will provide up to $1.5 billion in federal funding for delivery system reform incentives, expanded options for long-term services and supports, and supportive housing and employment. HCA and CMS hope to finalize the special terms and conditions of the waiver in the coming months.
This week, we reviewed the draft waiver agreement between the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Governor of Vermont, the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB), and the Vermont Agency of Human Services (AHS) to form an all-payer accountable care organization (ACO) model in Vermont. The agreement, if approved by all parties, would implement ACO assignment targets, outcomes and quality milestones, and would require Vermont to keep all-payer and Medicare-specific total cost of care growth per beneficiary below annual growth rate thresholds. The all-payer model (APM) encourages alignment across Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial payers, moving toward next generation ACO models with all-inclusive population-based payments. Vermont and CMS have reached preliminary agreement on the draft waiver, with state and federal officials conducting further review at this time.
HMA principals Greg Vachon, MD, MPH, and Jean Glossa MD, MBA, provide an overview of econsultations. Greg and Jean define econsults and provide an overview of the spectrum of econsult services in place today, evaluate the benefits and challenges of econsults, and look at recent developments in the econsult market.
This week, we are providing an update on HMA’s inaugural conference on The Future of Publicly Sponsored Healthcare: Building Integrated Delivery Systems for Vulnerable Populations, October 10-12, 2016, at The Palmer House in Chicago. More than 200 industry leaders have already registered to attend, including top executives from hospitals, health systems, clinics, provider practices, community-based organizations, and Medicaid managed care plans. Featuring 37 high-level industry speakers, conference panels and breakout sessions are designed to inspire discussion about real-world approaches to helping provider organizations improve the health status of patient populations, lower costs, and ensure a more satisfactory patient experience. Visit the conference website at https://fpsh.healthmanagement.com/ for complete details.
This week, we reviewed the independent evaluation of Texas’ Uncompensated Care Pool submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). The evaluation, which was required under the Special Terms and Conditions (STCs) of the State’s Section 1115 waiver, was completed by Health Management Associates (HMA).
This week, we reviewed the draft Section 1115 Research and Demonstration waiver, released on August 26, 2016, by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS). The 1115 waiver is proposed as part of the state’s broader initiatives around the State Innovation Model (SIM) design grant awards, the State Health Assessment (SHA), and the State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP), with goals of strengthening the state’s behavioral health care system, reducing silos in behavioral health care, and promoting greater integration of physical and behavioral health. The waiver specifically proposes the inclusion of a package of new benefits for individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) and substance use disorders (SUD), as well individuals nearing release from the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and Cook County Jail systems. DHFS estimates $1.2 billion in federal savings over the five-year waiver term, equaling a 2 percent spending reduction across all Medicaid spending compared to without-waiver spending estimates. DHFS is accepting comments on the draft 1115 waiver through September 26, 2016.