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Medicaid is the United States health program for eligible individuals and families with low incomes and resources. It is a means-tested program that is jointly funded by the states and federal government, and is managed by the states.
SAVE Medicare Home Health Act replaces unprecedented rebasing cuts

SAVE Medicare Home Health Act replaces unprecedented rebasing cuts

Home health leaders today said that growing support for the Securing Access Via Excellence (SAVE) Medicare Home Health Act – introduced last week by Representatives Greg Walden (OR-2) and Tom Price (GA-6) – underscores the importance of legislation to repeal the 14 percent, four-year rebasing cuts instituted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on January 1. [More]
GAHHA commends Congressman Price for introducing SAVE Medicare Home Health Act

GAHHA commends Congressman Price for introducing SAVE Medicare Home Health Act

Georgia Association for Home Health Agencies, Inc. (GAHHA) today thanked Congressman Tom Price (R-Roswell) for introducing new Medicare legislation that would replace across-the-board Medicare cuts with targeted reform that will improve the quality of home healthcare services. [More]
Viewpoints: Ryan's 'thoughtful blueprint' to end poverty; GOP challenges after health law ruling

Viewpoints: Ryan's 'thoughtful blueprint' to end poverty; GOP challenges after health law ruling

The Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee today released a thoughtful blueprint for overhauling $800 billion worth of U.S. anti-poverty programs. [More]
HealthInsight to lead health care quality improvement activities for Medicare program

HealthInsight to lead health care quality improvement activities for Medicare program

HealthInsight has been named to lead health care quality improvement activities for the Medicare Program for a four-state region serving Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah under a five-year contract awarded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). [More]

NC Senate votes for managed care Medicaid overhaul

The move would offer a set amount of money per patient for care to managed care plans and would take administration of the program out of the hands of the state Department of Health and Human Services and into the hands of a politically appointed board. [More]

Expensive hepatitis drug challenges Medicaid programs' funding

State officials are nervous about how to afford the new medicine, which can run $84,000 for treatment. Also in Medicaid news, federal data show children using emergency room treatment at night or weekends are often on Medicaid. [More]
First Edition: July 25, 2014

First Edition: July 25, 2014

Today's headlines include reports that the Obama administration is moving ahead in preparations for the health law's employer mandate. [More]
Viewpoints: Looking to the supremes for answer on subsidies; 'personhood' laws

Viewpoints: Looking to the supremes for answer on subsidies; 'personhood' laws

Liberals are telling themselves that the latest ObamaCare legal challenge won't amount to much, although more nervously after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the White House is defying the law's plain text by allotting insurance subsidies through the federal exchanges. Allow us to increase their anxiety by speeding things along to the Supreme Court (7/23). [More]
Longer looks: the economics of infertility; placebos as treatment raises ethical dilemmas

Longer looks: the economics of infertility; placebos as treatment raises ethical dilemmas

About a decade ago, Medicaid programs were struggling to keep up with skyrocketing prescription drug costs. Between 1997 and 2002, drug spending in the program for low-income Americans grew by about 20 percent annually. ... Medicaid directors began looking for ways to tamp down on those costs. One of the most popular policies was something called "prior authorization" for a new wave of more expensive, anti-psychotic drugs ,... These policies, in a sense, worked: they helped rein in how much Medicaid spent filling prescriptions. But in another sense, they may not have worked at all: a growing body of research has begun questioning whether restricting drug spending may have just shifted costs elsewhere -; particularly, into the prison system (Sarah Kliff, 7/22). [More]
Direct medical costs projected to increase to $49 billion annually by 2020

Direct medical costs projected to increase to $49 billion annually by 2020

The American College of Chest Physicians announced today the Online First publication of 'Total and State-Specific Medical and Absenteeism Costs of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years in the United States for 2010 and Projections Through 2020' in the journal CHEST. [More]
Highlights: Texas abortion rates falls dramatically; start-up problems for Virginia's psychiatric reforms

Highlights: Texas abortion rates falls dramatically; start-up problems for Virginia's psychiatric reforms

A four-month-old psychiatric-bed registry that is supposed to provide up-to-the-minute information for Virginians who need emergency mental health treatment is being updated as seldom as once a day, state officials told a panel of lawmakers this week (Shin, 7/22). [More]
$1,000-a-pill hepatitis C drug boosts Gilead's fortunes

$1,000-a-pill hepatitis C drug boosts Gilead's fortunes

Sales of the new hepatitis C drug Sovaldi reached $3.5 billion in the second quarter, putting it on track to become one of the world's best-selling medicines and intensifying concerns about its costs. [More]

Healthcare.gov active with special enrollments

ProPublica reports that the once problem-plagued federal exchange handled an estimated 960,000 "834" forms between April 19 and July 15. [More]

10 million newly insured because of health law, study says

The study, done by Harvard researchers and published by the New England Journal of Medicine, was based on Gallup polling and data from the Department of Health and Human Services. [More]

Medicaid residents sue Tennessee on Medicaid enrollment delays

The suit claims that the state's decision to require residents to apply through the health law marketplace slowed down enrollment. In other Medicaid news, The Associated Press examines problems in Oregon caused by the rush of enrollment. [More]

Rep. Paul Ryan to propose consolidation of anti-poverty programs

The proposal calls for melding a range of safety net programs -- from food stamps to housing vouchers -- into a single grant offered to states, which would come with strict accountability standards. The proposal, which does not include Medicaid, is part of a GOP effort to rethink how conservatives approach antipoverty programs. [More]
First Edition: July 24, 2014

First Edition: July 24, 2014

Today's headlines include more analysis of this week's conflicting appeals courts' decisions regarding a key part of the health law. [More]
Viewpoints: 'Entitlement meltdown;' improving Medicare Advantage; 'sloppy work habits' at CDC

Viewpoints: 'Entitlement meltdown;' improving Medicare Advantage; 'sloppy work habits' at CDC

Each day, 10,000 baby boomers retire and begin receiving Medicare and Social Security benefits. And while five workers supported the benefits of each retiree in 1960, there will be only two workers funding each retiree by 2030. Those who dismiss long-term budget projections should re-read the last paragraph. The retirement of 77 million baby boomers into Social Security and Medicare is not a theoretical projection. Demography is destiny (Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, 7/21). [More]
Out-of-pocket costs rising significantly for Medicare beneficiaries: Report

Out-of-pocket costs rising significantly for Medicare beneficiaries: Report

The analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation examines seniors' costs from 2000 to 2010. Also, another story focuses on a new Medicare effort to find ways to exempt beneficiaries from the requirement that they be in the hospital for three days before they qualify for nursing home coverage. [More]
Highlights: Florida officials crack down on direct Medicaid marketing; a wellness plan in Washington state breaks the mold

Highlights: Florida officials crack down on direct Medicaid marketing; a wellness plan in Washington state breaks the mold

[Florida] health officials are taking a cue from past problems and are banning health insurance companies from marketing their plans directly to Medicaid consumers as the state is rolling out a massive overhaul by transitioning millions into managed care. Insurance companies are allowed to market to consumers under the contracts, but only if the state gives prior approval (Kennedy, 7/22). [More]