Monday Morning Medicaid Must Reads: Jan 21st, 2019

Helping you consider differing viewpoints. Before it’s illegal.

In this issue…

Article 1:    Feds OK Medicaid Work Requirements in Arizona, Health Leaders Media

Clay’s summary:    This is only the 8th one approved. Must be a fluke.

Key Excerpts from the Article:

Arizona has permission from the federal government to begin imposing work requirements next year on certain Medicaid beneficiaries in the state, but most Native Americans will be exempt, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Friday. Arizona’s waiver is the eighth of its kind, signaling that the Trump administration intends to continue pushing forward with Medicaid work requirements despite pending legal challenges in other states. This is the first waiver to exempt members of federally recognized tribes, resolving a major sticking point with Arizona’s application. State officials had asked CMS to exempt all Native Americans from the new requirement, but Trump administration lawyers said doing so would constitute illegal preferential treatment on the basis of race. The tribes contended, however, that the administration’s position contradicted longstanding legal principles and Supreme Court precedent, as Politico reported.
“There were a lot of complex legal issues here,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma told Politico’s Rachana Pradhan. “I think that we were able to find a middle ground.”…

Read full article in packet or at links provided

Article 2:    Strategies for an Affordable Medicaid Buy-In Option in Colorado, Manatt

Clay’s summary:    We will sell Medicaid on the exchange, and offer subsidized premiums (so nobody really pays for it, except taxpayers). And oh yeah – we’ll pay providers at Medicare rates. What could possibly go wrong?

Full study
Key Excerpts from the Article:

In Colorado, where average Affordable Care Act (ACA) benchmark premiums have increased 71% since 2014, advocates and stakeholders initiated an analysis to evaluate the feasibility and potential impact of a Medicaid buy-in offered outside the individual ACA market, with access to Advanced Premium Tax Credit funding under an ACA Section 1332 State Innovation Waiver. The product would be offered statewide, leverage the current Medicaid infrastructure, provide the same benefits and range of cost sharing as coverage on the state Marketplace (Connect for Health Colorado), and reimburse providers at Medicare rates. The analysis evaluates expected premiums for the buy-in product, the impact of its introduction on existing individual market premiums and the potential for state savings under this program design. The effort was led by a coalition of Colorado health policy advocates, represented by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, and the Bell Policy Center. Manatt Health provided the policy and technical support, and Wakely Consulting Group, LLC, conducted the analytical modeling of the proposed program design and scenario alternatives….
Read full article in packet or at links provided

Article 3:    Ohio mental health agency closes, blames changes in Medicaid claims, Columbus Dispatch

Clay’s summary:   I’ve seen this movie before.

Key Excerpts from the Article:

Tener said her problems began in July, when the Ohio Department of Medicaid, which had been reimbursing providers for mental-health services provided to Medicaid clients, transferred that responsibility to managed-care insurance plans. Tener said she’s owed $40,000 from the plans, which have been criticized for failing to pay claims in a timely manner or rejecting them for unclear reasons..The Ohio Department of Medicaid has been reviewing the plans continuously and the providers since July 1, said Thomas Betti, the department’s press secretary.
“We understand the significant learning curve with the new system; however, data suggests that month over month, significant improvement is being made in the area of claims payment,” Betti said. “Issues have been minimal and quickly resolved.”Betti said the state sought to assist providers through the transition by disbursing about $146 million, via the managed-care plans, in advance payments from July through October. Those payments are similar to loans; providers are required to repay the money, and the state has instructed managed-care plans to delay repayment schedules, which had been set to begin in November….

Read full article in packet or at links provided