Exploring the Behavioral Health Independent Practice Association in an Era of Managed, Value-based Care

Editor’s Note: HMA Principals Karen Batia, David Bergman, Meggan Schilkie and Senior Consultants Meghan Manilla and Nicola Pinson contributed to this post. 

Across the country, behavioral healthcare is stretched thin and access to specialty care is a challenge. As value-based payment makes its way to the forefront, more than ever government entities, providers, payers and community-based organizations are exploring new avenues to meet shifting priorities and the requirements that accompany them.

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Medicaid Expansion Considerations For Non-Expansion States

This week, our In Focus section is led by Matt Powers, a Principal in our Chicago office, who worked with HMA colleagues to summarize the factors that non-expansion states weigh when considering whether or not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  Including the states where Medicaid expansion ballot initiatives passed, 37 states have chosen Medicaid expansion or are moving toward Medicaid expansion. More than 12 million newly eligible individuals are insured by state Medicaid programs through the expansion. Comments on recent ACA Court Ruling:

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HMA Evaluation of Montana’s Tribal Systems of Care Grant

Editor’s Note: This post was authored by Principal Rebecca Kellenberg.

Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) contracted with HMA to serve as the independent evaluator of the Tribal Systems of Care grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In this four-year role, HMA will assist in reporting on project evaluation data to show progress in meeting the goals and objectives of the grant as well as the fidelity, implementation, and impact of the project in the participating tribal communities.

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Medicaid and Exchange Enrollment Update – September 2018

This week, our In Focus section reviews updated information issued by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Medicaid expansion enrollment from the “September 2018 Medicaid and CHIP Application, Eligibility Determination, and Enrollment Report,” published on November 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 in 2018, representing 73 million Medicaid and CHIP enrollees and nearly 12 million Exchange enrollees.

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Premium Assistance Programs for the Working Adult Population in Medicaid Expansion States

This week, our In Focus section comes to us from HMA Senior Consultant Erin Mathies (Indianapolis), who reviews the premium assistance programs for the working adult population in Medicaid expansion states. Medicaid programs that pay for premiums in commercial insurance for individuals eligible for Medicaid have been part of state Medicaid programs since the 1990s. Under a premium assistance program, the employer or individual market coverage is the primary plan and Medicaid supports the cost of the premium, pays for cost sharing, and provides any wrapped benefits. These programs can save money for state Medicaid agencies by leveraging the employer contribution towards premiums and holding expenditures per member to the annual out of pocket maximum amounts. Existing Health Insurance Premium Payment (HIPP) programs traditionally cover children and populations with disabilities. Individuals eligible under the Medicaid Expansions may be more likely to have access to employer sponsored-insurance (ESI) and leveraging premium assistance options for these populations represents an unrealized opportunity for many state Medicaid agencies.

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Proposed Policy Changes Affecting Health Reimbursement Arrangements

This week, our In Focus section comes to us from HMA Senior Consultant Ryan Mooney (Austin), who reviewed the proposed rule on Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). On October 29, 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human Services published a proposed rule (83 FR 54420), the purpose of which is to expand the use of HRAs. An HRA is an employer-supported account that helps employees pay for qualified medical expenses not covered by their health plans. The proposed rule is the latest component of the President’s Executive Order 13813, which directed the federal government to expand and facilitate access to association health plans, short-term and limited-duration insurance products, and HRAs. 

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Navigating CMS’ Proposed Medicaid Managed Care Regulations

This week’s HMA Weekly Roundup features an In Focus article from HMA Senior Consultants Amber Swartzell and Stephanie Baume (Indiana), who reviewed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed Medicaid managed care regulations. On November 8, 2018, CMS released a proposed rule that would update several sections of the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) managed care rules, which were most recently amended in 2016. This much anticipated proposal, scheduled to appear in the Federal Register on November 14, 2018, focuses on “promoting flexibility, strengthening accountability, and maintaining and enhancing program integrity.” The key provisions of the proposed regulations are summarized below.

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Florida Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) Awards

This week, our In Focus section comes to us from Principal Elaine Peters (HMA – Florida), who reviews the recent re-procurement by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) of its Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) health and dental plans.  The SMMC program currently has two key program components:  Long-Term Care (LTC) and Managed Medical Assistance (MMA).  The new SMMC program changes the two components to: Integrated MMA and LTC and Dental.  The 2016 Legislature “carved out” dental services from MMA plans and new dental plans will be responsible for providing dental services to eligible members.

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A Deeper Look Into Highlights From the Kaiser/HMA 50-State Medicaid Director Survey

This week, our In Focus section reviews highlights and shares key takeaways from the 18th annual Medicaid Budget Survey conducted by The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and Health Management Associates (HMA). Survey results were released on October 25, 2018, in two new reports: States Focus on Quality and Outcomes Amid Waiver Changes: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 and Medicaid Enrollment & Spending Growth: FY 2018 & 2019. The reports were prepared by Kathleen Gifford, Eileen Ellis, Barbara Coulter Edwards, and Aimee Lashbrook from HMA, and by Elizabeth Hinton, Larisa Antonisse, and Robin Rudowitz from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The survey was conducted in collaboration with the National Association of Medicaid Directors.

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