Medicaid

Proposal Would Establish New “Essential Health System” Designation

The newly proposed “Reinforcing Essential Health Systems for Communities Act” would create a new federal hospital designation that would create a mechanism for directing more federal resources to safety-net hospitals that care for more low-income and uninsured patients. The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Representatives Lori Trahan (D-MA) and David Valadao (R-CA), would, according to Rep. Trahan, … provide federal lawmakers with the avenues necessary to target funding and resources to these critical facilities – just as we’ve done with other types of hospitals that serve specific populations or regions. Hospitals would qualify for “essential health system” status by meeting one [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for February 15

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for February 9-15.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Department of Health and Human Services HHS has released a 2023 update of its Equity Action Plan.  The plan outlines five priority areas to advance equity:  prevent neglect and improve care to help children thrive in their families and communities; promote accessible and welcoming health care for all; improve maternal health outcomes for rural, racial, and ethnic minority communities; prioritize the behavioral health of underserved populations; and increase clinical research and trial diversity [...]

Looming Medicaid Challenges

State Medicaid programs are facing significant financial challenges in the coming years. Among them:  less federal Medicaid matching money, a continued call by providers for increased payments, and a growing demand to use Medicaid to help address behavioral health challenges. In addition, proponents of investing more Medicaid money in home- and community-based services can be expected to ask state Medicaid programs to cover more services while those programs face a growing demand to use Medicaid resources to address social determinants of health such as poor housing and hunger. At the same time, large numbers of individuals continue to fall off [...]

Millions Dropped From Medicaid Rolls

With the two-year “Medicaid unwinding” process nearly half complete, 9.5 million Americans have lost their Medicaid coverage – among them more than 3.7 million children. To date, 48 million of the 71 million people enrolled in Medicaid at pandemic’s end have had their eligibility reviewed.  So far, many of those who were at first ruled ineligible were dropped for procedural reasons, such as failing to file paperwork on time, but many of those people eventually had their benefits restored. Still, estimates that 15 million people would lose their Medicaid eligibility by the time the process ended appear to be overlying [...]

2024-02-08T22:22:10+00:00February 13, 2024|Medicaid|

Federal Health Policy Update for February 8

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for February 2 - 8.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Congress Members of the Senate’s 340B bipartisan working group have released a discussion draft of legislation that would update the 340B prescription drug discount program.  Last year the group sought stakeholder input on policy solutions that might provide stability and transparency to the 340B program to ensure that the program can continue to achieve its original intent of supporting entities serving eligible patients.  Find a news release describing the discussion draft [...]

States Using Medicaid Money to Address Homelessness

Trusting in the adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” more and more states are using Medicaid funds to address homelessness. The theory, not fully tested, is that providing housing to the homeless, along with other social supports, will reduce their use of hospital emergency rooms, improve their overall health, and end up saving taxpayer money.  Some are skeptical, believing health care money should be spent on health care services. Today, 19 states are using some of their Medicaid resources to provide housing to the homeless.  Leading the way is California, which is spending $12 [...]

2024-02-07T17:56:09+00:00February 8, 2024|Medicaid, Medicaid and homelessness, Medicaid and housing|

Federal Health Policy Update for February 1

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for January 26 – February 1.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CMS has released its calendar year (CY) 2025 Advance Notice for the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Programs that would update payment and other policies for these programs.  Under the notice, federal Medicare Advantage spending would increase an expected 3.7 percent, or more than $16 billion, but the agency also proposes reducing by 0.16 percent the program’s base rate.  CMS also detailed [...]

Preventable Medicaid Hospitalizations Vary Based on Race, Eligibility Path

Preventable hospitalizations among Medicaid patients vary based on the race of the patient and how that patient came to be eligible for Medicaid, according to a new analysis by the Urban Institute. According to a review of preventable hospitalizations in 21 states, the report concluded that: … the three most common types of potentially preventable hospitalizations for Medicaid-enrolled adults were asthma/COPD (0.2 percent of enrollees had at least one such hospitalization in 2019), diabetes (0.4 percent of enrollees had at least one such hospitalization in 2019), and heart failure (0.2 percent of enrollees had at least one such hospitalization in [...]

2024-01-29T19:09:49+00:00January 30, 2024|health equity, Medicaid|

Federal Health Policy Update for January 25

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for January 12 - 25.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Department of Health and Human Services – Funding Models HHS has announced a new model to test approaches for addressing the behavioral and physical health and health-related social needs of people with Medicaid and Medicare.  The goal of the Innovation in Behavioral Health Model (IBH) is to improve the overall quality of care and outcomes for adults with mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders by connecting them with the physical, behavioral, [...]

Analysis Looks at Problems Plaguing Unwinding of Medicaid Continuous Eligibility

Since the end of the continuous Medicaid eligibility that was a major part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, more than 14 million Americans have lost their Medicaid eligibility. In a new analysis, KFF looks at the challenges both consumers and states have encountered in attempting to review the eligibility of the Medicaid population and to ensure that those who are no longer eligible can be directed to other options for health insurance.  Among the factors addressed in this analysis are: State outreach to affected individuals, the effectiveness of those efforts, and the adjustments states have made along the [...]

2024-01-23T20:01:41+00:00January 24, 2024|hospitals, Medicaid|
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