While disrupting all aspects of life around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on the long-term care delivery system in this country with long-term care facilities being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Nursing homes and senior living communities were in the difficult position of needing to keep patients safe while continuing to provide care and mitigate the risks of infection for both patients and staff.
This week, our In Focus section reviews the draft Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans (MCPs) request for proposals (RFP) released on June 1, 2021, by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). California will procure MCPs for the Two-Plan Model, Geographic Managed Care (GMC), Regional Model, Imperial Model, and San Benito Model. This RFP excludes County Operated Health Systems (COHS) Plans and Local Initiative Plans. Of the total 13.5 million Medi-Cal beneficiaries, there are nearly 11.6 million in Medicaid managed care, of which approximately 3.5 million will be served under this RFP. A final RFP release date is still “to be determined” but expected in late 2021. Feedback on the draft RFP is due July 1, as well as voluntary non-binding letters of intent. A pre-proposal web conference will be held on June 10.
Health Management Associates (HMA) announced today that Beth Kidder, former Florida deputy secretary for Medicaid, is joining the national healthcare consulting firm as a managing principal in its Tallahassee office on August 16.
In an issue brief prepared for The Commonwealth Fund and The SCAN Foundation, HMA consultant Jennifer Podulka and Vice President Jonathan Blum, analyze the temporary COVID-19-related changes to Medicare regulations, described the benefits and risks of the changes, and offered a framework to support policymakers’ decisions on the future of these temporary policies.
This week, our In Focus section reviews California’s May Revision to the Governor’s Budget, which proposes a $267.8 billion budget (with $196.8 billion General Fund) for fiscal year 2021-22. The revised budget includes $24.4 billion in reserves, the largest in history. The May Revision builds on the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) proposal and introduces several Medi-Cal initiatives and benefits for fiscal year 2021-22.
This week, our In Focus section reviews the key provisions of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long-Term Acute Care Hospital (LTCH) Proposed Rule (CMS-1752-P), which includes Medicare payment updates and policy changes for the upcoming FY, with a comment deadline of June 28, 2021. This year’s proposed rule includes several proposals the hospital industry should carefully consider. In particular, the Biden Administration has proposed to:
In the last decade, there has been increasing awareness of the role behavioral health plays in healthcare outcomes and cost of care—especially in the public sector. Starting with Medicaid expansion and the high rates of behavioral health conditions in the expansion population to evidence of the impact of behavioral health on physical chronic disease and medical spending, behavioral health is an area of focus for improving the quality of care and reducing cost.
This week, our In Focus section examines differences in Medicare Advantage (MA) churn rates among select provider-sponsored plans (PSPs) and non-PSPs. Enrollee churn rates, or rates at which enrollees switch plans, may be an indicator of enrollee satisfaction. In the years studied, PSP organizations had lower average churn rates compared to non-PSP organizations.
This week, our In Focus section reviews publicly available data on enrollment in capitated financial and administrative alignment demonstrations (“Duals Demonstrations”) for individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligibles) 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 dual eligibles 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 February 2021, approximately 392,000 dual eligibles were enrolled in an MMP. Enrollment rose 5.7 percent from February of the previous year.
This week, our In Focus reviews the fiscal year (FY) 2022 skilled nursing facility (SNF) proposed payment rule, released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on April 8, 2021. If the proposals contained in the rule are foreshadowing, SNFs will continue to face financial pressures coming out of the public health emergency. This payment update, combined with other policy proposals, is likely to lead to the smallest payment update since the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 set a 1 percent increase in FY 2018. The rule proposes a net payment update of 1.3 percent after accounting for forecast error and the multifactor productivity adjustment. In addition to the payment update, CMS proposes changes to the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP), and the SNF Value-Based Program (VBP) for FY 2022. Notably, CMS proposes an eventual payment correction to achieve a budget neutral implementation of the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) that could result in a 5 percent rate reduction.