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November 1, 2011

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  • Better access to primary care decreases hospitalization costs

    Hospitalization rates in Medicaid programs were lower in areas with a greater number of primary care physicians, and in states that on average provided more outpatient visits and paid more per outpatient visit, according to a study published in Health Affairs.
  • Delaware targets inappropriate ER use and hospitalizations

    When Delaware Medicaid attempted to implement co-pays, "we didn't get very far with our legislative branch on that," reports Rita M. Landgraf, secretary of Delaware's Department of Health and Social Services.
  • New initiative targets Medicaid's 2014 primary care rate increase

    Six state Medicaid programs are currently coming up with strategies to maximize the benefits of the mandated primary care rate increase, as participants in Leveraging the Medicaid Primary Care Rate Increase, an initiative from the Hamilton, NJ-based Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS).
  • Delaware Medicaid looks to contain long-term care costs

    Delaware Medicaid's long-term care population is still primarily fee-for-service, and this population is very high-cost because many individuals are in facility-based care, says Rita M. Landgraf, secretary of Delaware's Department of Health and Social Services. In April 2012, this group will switch to a managed care organization, she reports.
  • Upcoming Medicaid decision likely to have sweeping impact

    California has appealed a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision stopping a 10% provider rate reduction from going forward, with an anticipated decision by the Supreme Court by spring 2012, notes Stan Rosenstein, MPA, principal advisor at Health Management Associates in Sacramento, CA, and former California Medicaid director.
  • Could we someday see full federalization of Medicaid?

    Interestingly, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) takes some steps toward federalization of Medicaid from both a philosophical and a financial perspective, says Nicole Huberfeld, an associate professor at the University of Kentucky's College of Law in Lexington.
  • Access, integration top priorities for adults with mental illness

    Medicaid beneficiaries who receive care for mental health or substance abuse have greater physical health needs and higher overall costs than other beneficiaries, indicating the need for better integration of physical and behavioral health care under Medicaid, according to Providing Care to Medicaid Beneficiaries with Behavioral Health Conditions: Challenges for New York, a February 2011 report from the Medicaid Institute at United Hospital Fund in New York City.
  • Participant-directed program saves $18 million

    The foundation that was laid for the operation of Arkansas' Cash and Counseling demonstration and the Independent Choices program was "unique from the very start," says Deborah Ellis, a program administrator with the Arkansas Department of Human Services' Division of Aging and Adult Services. "It truly was a spirit of teamwork on all levels to implement this new program."
  • Many eligible to remain unenrolled even after Medicaid expansion

    An estimated 23 million non-elderly Americans will remain uninsured after 2014, including 15 million eligible for Medicaid coverage, according to a March 2011 Congressional Budget Office report.