Blog

Reviewing Oregon’s Medicaid Expenditure Cap Waiver

This week, our In Focus article provides an overview of Oregon’s Medicaid waiver program, under which the state implemented integrated managed care entities and committed to a per capita reduction on the rate of Medicaid cost growth. The model, viewed widely as a success, may be of interest to states as discussions at the federal level around restraining spending growth in Medicaid develop under the incoming administration.

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HHS Selects Eight States to Participate in CCBHC Demonstration

This week’s article comes to from HMA Principals Meggan Schilkie, Joshua Rubin, and Heidi Arthur in our New York City office and the HMA national behavioral health team. On December 21, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the selection of eight states for participation in a two-year Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration program “designed to improve behavioral health services in their communities.” The eight states are Minnesota, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. The demonstration projects are slated to begin on July 1, 2017. They build on a total of 24 state planning grants issued by HHS in 2015 to support states in designing their certification process. Nineteen of the 24 states submitted applications to participate in the demonstration program, and the eight awardees were selected from this pool of 19 applicants.

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Medicaid Managed Care Procurement Updates in DC, Massachusetts, and Texas

This week we reviewed two active Medicaid managed care procurements – in the District of Columbia and Massachusetts – and a Medicaid managed care request for information issued by Texas. On December 22, 2016, the District of Columbia issued a request for proposals (RFP) to rebid Medicaid managed care organization (MCO) contracts for the DC Healthy Families and Alliance programs. One day prior, on December 21, 2016, Massachusetts issued a request for responses (RFR) from MCOs interested in participating in the MassHealth managed care program, with a focus on preparing for Medicaid ACO implementation, as well as the planned carve-in of managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS). Finally, also on December 22, 2016, Texas issued a request for information (RFI) ahead of an upcoming statewide reprocurement of the STAR+PLUS Medicaid managed care program.

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Is your organization ready to become an integrated delivery system?

For providers, transitioning from volume- to value-based care is no easy task. You are likely facing a growing number of pressures that are becoming increasingly difficult to manage. These could include community/political pressures, primary care shortages, medical staff competition, and incentives to measure and manage care quality and total costs and address non-clinical aspects of health. Additional demands include risk sharing arrangements, audits, and pitches from vendors. Aligning your facilities, programs and services into a fully integrated delivery system can seem like a daunting task. But HMA can help.

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Medicaid and Exchange Enrollment Update

This week, we reviewed updated reports issued by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) on Medicaid expansion enrollment from the “September 2016 Medicaid and CHIP Application, Eligibility Determination, and Enrollment Report,” published on December 1, 2016. Additionally, we review 2016 Exchange enrollment data from the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) Issue Brief, “Health Insurance Marketplace 2016 Open Enrollment Period: February 2016 Enrollment Report,” and 2017 enrollment snapshot data through December 19, 2016, from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Combined, these reports present a picture of Medicaid and Exchange enrollment at the end of 2016, with a look at progress towards 2017 Exchange enrollment.

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Virginia JLARC Issues Report on Medicaid Spending Management

This week, our In Focus section comes to us from HMA Principal Barbara Markham Smith, JD, of our Washington, DC office. On December 12, 2016, Virginia’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC), the audit arm of the General Assembly, issued findings from its two-year review of the Department of Medical Assistance Service’s (DMAS’s) management of the Medicaid program. In a review of DMAS’s performance that largely foreshadows Medicaid reforms to be implemented in 2017-2018, JLARC notes that inflation-adjusted Medicaid spending in Virginia, per enrollee, remained essentially flat from FY2011 to FY2015. Program spending increases came from growing enrollment due to expanded outreach activities and the addition of new waiver slots for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The growth in total spending (as opposed to per capita spending), amounted to average annual cost increases of 8.9 percent over the past 10 years. Services for individuals with disabilities accounted for the lion’s share of cost increases, according to a budget report released earlier this year. Medicaid spending accounted for 22 percent of Virginia’s general fund budget in FY2016. 

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Oklahoma Releases Soonerhealth+ RFP

This week, we reviewed the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s (OHCA’s) request for proposals (RFP) for a new statewide Medicaid managed care program for individuals who are aged and individuals with disabilities (ABD). The program, called SoonerHealth+, will provide managed acute care, behavioral health, and managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) to roughly 155,000 members, to be phased in over two years beginning in April 2018. Based on state fiscal year 2014 data, SoonerHealth+ spending per year could exceed $2.5 billion when fully implemented. Proposals are due on February 28, 2017.

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Revisiting Congressman Tom Price’s ACA Repeal Legislation

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.

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Revisiting Republican Governors’ 2011 Medicaid Reform Proposals

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.”

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Quarterly Medicaid Managed Care Enrollment Update – Q3 2016

This week, we reviewed recent Medicaid enrollment trends in capitated, risk-based managed care in 24 states.[1] 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.

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