Blog

New CMS Guidelines to Expedite Approval of 1115 Waivers and State Plan Amendments

This week, our In Focus section reviews the new guidelines issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on expediting the approval process for Medicaid waivers and state plan amendments (SPAs) and improving quality, accessibility, outcomes, and transparency. The guidelines, titled Section 1115 Demonstration Process Improvements and State Plan Amendment and 1915 Waiver Process Improvements to Improve Transparency and Efficiency and Reduce Burden were released on November 6, 2017.

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Arizona, Kansas Medicaid Managed Care RFPs Reviewed

This article was authored by HMA Senior Consultant Annie Melia and Consultant Alona Nenko.

This week, our In Focus section reviews two Medicaid managed care requests for proposals (RFPs) released on November 2, 2017. The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) issued an RFP for the “Complete Care” program, which will integrate Medicaid managed care for physical and behavioral health as well as replace the state’s long-standing Acute Care Medicaid managed care program. It will cover approximately 1.5 million Medicaid members. Meanwhile, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Department for Aging and Disability Services issued an RFP for KanCare 2.0 Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Capitated Managed Care, which will serve approximately 403,000 members.

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Opioid Epidemic Declared a National Public Health Emergency: So, What Now?

On Thursday, President Trump announced that he will declare America’s opioid epidemic a national public health emergency. This designation came at the behest of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis’ draft interim report released in August. The opioid epidemic is now the first public health emergency since the H1N1 influenza outbreaks of 2009. The designation aims to enhance access to opioid treatment by easing federal regulations and offering states federal funding flexibility to promote telemedicine. While the official text has yet to be released, expected provisions include:

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Highlights from Kaiser/HMA 50-State Medicaid Director Survey

This week, our In Focus section reviews highlights and shares key takeaways from the 17th annual Medicaid Budget Survey conducted by Health Management Associates (HMA) and the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). Survey results were released on October 19, 2017, in three new reports: “Medicaid Enrollment & Spending Growth: FY 2017 & 2018,” Medicaid Moving Ahead in Uncertain Times: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018,” and “Putting Medicaid in the Larger Budget Context: An In-Depth Look at Three States in FY 2017 and 2018.” The reports were prepared by Kathleen Giff­ord, Eileen Ellis, Barbara Coulter Edwards, and Aimee Lashbrook from HMA, and by Elizabeth Hinton, Larisa Antonisse, Allison Valentine, and Robin Rudowitz from the Kaiser Family Foundation. HMA’s Dennis Roberts also contributed. The survey was conducted in collaboration with the National Association of Medicaid Directors.

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HMA Consultants Tapped as Authors for Book About Oregon Healthcare Reforms

Health Reform Policy to Practice – Oregon’s Path to a Sustainable Health System: A Study in Innovation published by Elsevier Academic Press in August, provides a real-world example of an innovative, successful, and comprehensive Medicaid program redesign conducted by the State of Oregon. HMA colleagues Tina Edlund, Jeanene Smith, Cathy Kaufmann, and Lori Coyner were actively involved in Oregon’s healthcare reform efforts and have authored chapters on the development of Oregon’s metrics and incentive program, its patient-centered primary care medical home program, and its comprehensive system of supports for delivery system transformation.

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Annual Survey Finds Medicaid Enrollment Growth Slowing, Uptick in Spending Growth

Medicaid Moving Ahead in Uncertain Times: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018

Medicaid enrollment continues to slow in FY 2017 and FY 2018; however, states project an uptick in spending in FY 2018. This is just one finding in the 17th annual 50-state Medicaid Budget Survey conducted by The Kaiser Family Foundation and in collaboration with Health Management Associates (HMA) and the National Association of Medicaid Directors.

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Senators Murray, Alexander Reach Bipartisan Deal on Health Bill

This week, our In Focus section reviews the bipartisan health deal reached by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), both members of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committee. Bipartisan talks around a bill to stabilize insurance markets have been ongoing for months, with discussions resuming after the Senate pulled a vote on the Graham-Cassidy reform bill last month. The Murray-Alexander bill, for which a discussion draft has been circulated, seeks to stabilize insurance markets through several key actions around cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers and Section 1332 waivers, as well as several additional provisions. Below, we provide a summary of the key provisions as they stand.

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