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HMA Insights: Your source for healthcare news, ideas and analysis.

HMA Insights puts the vast depth of HMA’s expertise at your fingertips, helping you stay informed about the latest healthcare trends and topics. Below, you can easily search based on your topic of interest to find useful information from our blogs, webinars, case studies, reports and more.

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Blog

Highlights From This Week’s HMA Conference On The Rapidly Changing World Of Medicaid

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This week, our In Focus section provides a recap of the third annual HMA Conference, The Rapidly Changing World of Medicaid: Opportunities and Pitfalls for Payers, Providers and States, held this Monday, October 1, and Tuesday, October 2, in Chicago, Illinois. More than 450 leading executives representing managed care organizations, providers, state and federal government, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders in the health care field gathered to address the opportunities and challenges facing health plans, states, and providers as they strive to provide the best possible care to Medicaid beneficiaries and other vulnerable populations at a time of significant uncertainty and change. Conference participants heard from keynote speakers, engaged in panel discussions and connected during informal networking opportunities. Below is a summary of highlights from this year’s conference.

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Blog

Companion Medicaid and Medicare Advantage Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans

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This week, our In Focus section reviews Medicare-Medicaid integration opportunities through Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs). States are motivated to expand their capacity to address the needs of dually eligible beneficiaries through integrated care. They are increasingly requiring health plans that operate Medicaid managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) programs to become Medicare Advantage (MA) D-SNPs. A few states require D-SNPs to be Medicaid MLTSS health plans.[1]

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Blog

Dual Eligible Financial Alignment Demonstration Enrollment Update

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This week, our In Focus section reviews publicly available data on enrollment in capitated financial and administrative alignment demonstrations (“Duals Demonstrations”) for beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid (duals) in nine states: California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Texas. Each of these states has begun either voluntary or passive enrollment of duals into fully integrated plans providing both Medicaid and Medicare benefits (“Medicare-Medicaid Plans,” or “MMPs”) under three-way contracts between the state, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the MMP. As of August 2018, nearly 369,000 duals were enrolled in an MMP. Enrollment dropped by 6.7 percent from August of the previous year after Virginia’s dual demonstration ended in December.

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Blog

North Carolina and District of Columbia Medicaid Managed Care RFPs

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This week, our In Focus reviews North Carolina’s much-anticipated Prepaid Health Plan Services request for proposals (RFP), released by the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health Benefits on August 9, 2018, and District of Columbia’s Medicaid Managed Care RFP released on August 14, 2018. North Carolina is transitioning its Medicaid fee-for-service program to Medicaid managed care through its procurement. DC is reprocuring its managed care program, covering the District of Columbia Healthy Families Program (DCHFP), Alliance program, and the Immigrant Children’s Program (ICP).

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Blog

Medicaid Community Engagement, Work Requirement and Consumer Empowerment Programs: Key Implementation and Operations Issues and Considerations

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This week, our In Focus section highlights HMA Medicaid Market Solutions’ (MMS) efforts to support state flexibility in designing and implementing Section 1115 Demonstration Waivers promoting member engagement and personal responsibility. Over the coming weeks, HMA MMS will present a series of articles providing in-depth analyses of the many facets of these new Medicaid models. This week, we examine important issues and considerations for implementing Medicaid consumer empowerment, community engagement, and work requirements.

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Blog

New Hampshire Medicaid Care Management Draft RFP

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This week, our In Focus reviews the New Hampshire Medicaid Care Management (MCM) Services Draft request for proposals (RFP), released by the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on July 9, 2018. The MCM program, worth $750 million in annualized spending, will provide full-risk, fully capitated Medicaid managed care services to approximately 181,000 beneficiaries from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2024. The final RFP is expected August 10, 2018.

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Blog

Medicaid Managed Care Enrollment Update – Q2 2018

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This week, our In Focus section reviews recent Medicaid enrollment trends in capitated, risk-based managed care in 28 states.[1] Many state Medicaid agencies 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 28 states highlighted in this review have released monthly Medicaid managed care enrollment data into the second quarter (Q2) of 2018. This report reflects the most recent data posted. HMA has made the following observations related to the enrollment data shown on Table 1 (below):

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Blog

Benefit Options for the Medicaid Expansion Population: Alternative Benefit Plans and the Medically Frail

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This week, our In Focus section highlights HMA Medicaid Market Solutions (MMS) which is supporting state flexibility in designing and implementing initiatives, including Section 1115 Demonstration Waivers, promoting member engagement, and personal responsibility. Over the coming weeks, HMA MMS will present a series of articles providing an in-depth look at the facets of these new Medicaid models.

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Blog

Registration Open for HMA Conference on the Rapidly Changing World of Medicaid

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HMA Conference on the Rapidly Changing World of Medicaid to Feature Insights from 30-Plus Speakers, Including Health Plan CEOs, State Medicaid Directors, Providers

Pre-Conference Workshop: Sept. 30
Conference: Oct. 1-2
Location: The Palmer House, Chicago

Health Management Associates is proud to announce its third annual conference on trends in publicly sponsored health care: The Rapidly Changing World of Medicaid: Opportunities and Pitfalls for Payers, Providers and States.

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Blog

HHS Releases Blueprint to Address Prescription Drug Costs

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This week, our In Focus, written by HMA Principal Anne Winter and Senior Consultant Aimee Lashbrook, examines American Patients First:  The Trump Administration Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs, released May 11, 2018. Over time, the pharmaceutical supply chain has become a complex ecosystem, responding to the ever-changing dynamics of new drug products, pricing strategies, health care reform, benefit design, and the regulatory environment making it, arguably, the most complicated in health care. Due to this complexity, solutions to equitably control drug pricing will take a multiprong approach that includes regulatory redesign.

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Brief & Report

Report Provides Indigent Healthcare Community Investment Analysis for Florida County

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In late 2017, the Marion County Hospital District commissioned a study to define the medically indigent, identify the current volume and costs of healthcare for the medically indigent population in Marion County, describe the providers that comprise the health care safety net, summarize the investments made in the health care safety net, outcomes of this level of investment, and identify ways the community might better invest in this system. In the context of a recent reduction in federally funding to Marion County hospitals, and a decrease in the local Department of Health (DOH) funding and hospital funding to support the multi-site Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in the county (Heart of Florida), community investment in the FQHC was a particular area of interest. A series of questions generated by the Marion County Hospital District guided the study and framed the report. To answer these questions, HMA analyzed publicly available data and reports, obtained quantitative and qualitative data from over 40 key stakeholders.

In terms of a definition for medically indigent, HMA recommends that Marion County consider uninsured individuals with an income less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level to be considered “medically indigent.” This equates to 30,988 individuals in Marion County.  This definition is used by the state of Florida for several major programs, has been approved by the federal government, and is routinely used by hospitals in defining indigent care.

HMA found that the hospitals – Munroe Regional Medical Center and Ocala Health – provide services to approximately the same proportion of Medicaid patients on an inpatient basis, and that Munroe serves a disproportionate number of Medicaid patients compared to the State-wide average in their Emergency Department and in Labor and Delivery. Both hospitals combined incur $3 million in unreimbursed charity care cost for the medically indigent in Marion county.

Heart of Florida (HOF) is the single largest primary care provider in the county and has limited behavioral health services.  Ocala Community Care (the county jail health service provider) is the next largest provider of indigent primary care and outpatient behavioral health, followed by Langley Health Center that has one primary care site in the county and offers some behavioral health services.  HOF’s proportion of paying patients is less (66%) than Langley (80%) and HOF provided approximately 24,000 in uninsured visits to Langley’s 5,000.

The Centers is the traditional safety net behavioral health provider in the community and is the only provider that receives state funding for serving residents who are indigent; accessibility is an issue for many given the location of the main site. The Vines delivers inpatient, residential, and partial hospitalization services; they receive no funds from the state or county and report having delivered $4 million in charity care last year. Meridian Behavioral Health in Alachua County is serving nearly 600 Marion County residents, many who report access issues in Marion County. This led Meridian to begin a telemedicine relationship with HOF to address the need for more local behavioral health services.

Marion County budgets over $9 million for indigent health care (excluding an estimated $7 million for the county jail). This is primarily for statutorily required payments for Medicaid and funding for The Centers and the Department of Health. The Marion County Hospital District funded $1.6 million in local projects in its 2017 grant cycle.

The entirety of Marion County is federally designated as a Health Professions Shortage Area; demand exceeds supply of primary care and community behavioral health. There is an average of about 2 months wait for new patients to be seen at Heart of Florida, and Munroe Medical Center has a particularly high rate of low acuity Emergency Department visits (27.4%), many of which are likely individuals who are unable to access care in the community.  The Centers reports that they have instituted a walk-in system for initial assessments, and that an appointment for outpatient therapy is typically scheduled within 2-3 weeks. The Medication Clinic is also walk-in but maximum capacity is reached about one-third of clinic days such that patients arriving after the maximum capacity is reached cannot be seen that day; these patients are given priority status for the next clinic day.

In the report, we present challenges and opportunities for the safety net provider organizations individually and collectively. A particular challenge has been HOF’s continued management of the three former Department of Health primary care sites given that these sites have particularly high rates of uninsured patients ranging from 43 – 61 percent.  We present an analysis that concludes that these sites fill a community need and should continue to operate unless other alternatives become available. By contract, HOF will receive $800,000 from the DOH to help support operations of these three sites, but funding is scheduled to be reduced by 20% each year over a five-year period ending on September 30, 2021. In addition, the two hospitals are planning to discontinue their contributions to the HOF. Given the funding reductions anticipated, HMA’s opinion is that the county should continue to fund HOF at the current level of $380k at least for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. We recommend that HOF be required to develop an operational plan to present to the county in FY 2019 to detail strategies to address the loss of their other funding streams. If HOF requires continued funding from the county it should clearly articulate how that funding would be utilized and the benefit it would bring to the community.

Given the primary care and behavioral health provider shortages in the county, HMA also analyzed and highlighted where new primary care/behavioral health sites might best be located and presented justifications with supporting maps.

Finally, HMA conducted an environmental scan to identify indigent care funding models and delivery system best practices. We developed a set of recommendations for the community that identifies particular models and best practices that drive care to the outpatient setting and reduces preventable and costly hospital utilization. The recommendations also call for a process to bring key provider groups and other stakeholders together to collaboratively plan and implement strategies to strengthen the health care safety net.

Blog

Medicaid and Exchange Enrollment Update – 2017-18

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This week, our In Focus section reviews updated reports issued by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Medicaid expansion enrollment from the “December 2017 Medicaid and CHIP Application, Eligibility Determination, and Enrollment Report,” published on April 30, 2018. Additionally, we review 2018 Exchange enrollment data from the “Health Insurance Marketplaces 2018 Open Enrollment Period: Final State-Level Public Use File,” published by CMS on April 3, 2018. Combined, these reports present a picture of Medicaid and Exchange enrollment at the beginning of 2018, representing more than 74 million Medicaid and CHIP enrollees and nearly 12 million Exchange enrollees.

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