Several States No Longer Plan On Expanding Medicaid

Several states are now leaning toward or have outright abandoned all plans to allow expansion of their Medicaid programs. Most recently, Wyoming rejected plans to expand its Medicaid program via provisions offered under the Affordable Care Act. Representatives for Kansas have also told reporters that the state is not planning on scheduling hearings on three different bills allowing for Medicaid expansion. So far, 29 states have formally adopted Medicaid expansion, while the rest have either rejected adoption or are still considering it. Medicaid program enrollment has been growing exponentially under the new health law. The Obama administration announced that more than 10 million Americans have joined the Medicaid program since 2013.

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Medicaid Expansion Unpopular Amongst States

Twenty-one states are opting out of Medicaid expansion for next year while another six states’ legislators are still deciding.  Medicaid rules currently vary from state to state, but many provide little to no coverage of childless, non-disabled and non-elderly adults.  Reasons for opting out of expansion include worries involving additional costs as well as growing an already broken program.  According to CNNMoney, the federal government will pay for 100% of the expansion for the first three years, then gradually reduce its subsidy to 90% by 2020.

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CMS Announces Open Door Forum On PPACA

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the first in a series of monthly conference calls for an update on Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA) implementation efforts that impact doctors, nurses, hospitals and home care agencies.

More update calls are scheduled for the second Thursday of the month at 2:00p.m. ET.  The first, scheduled for September 13th will discuss Medicaid expansion.

To participate, please dial (888) 455-2963 and enter passcode 2954962.

AHA Seeks Clarification On Medicaid Expansion

The American Hospital Association (AHA)  is asking U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to clarify how the Supreme Court ruling upholding healthcare reform will affect Medicaid payments to hospitals. In a letter sent earlier this week, the AHA asked for clarification in a several areas, including:

  • Whether patients with incomes between 100% and 138% of the federal poverty level are eligible for subsidies through an insurance exchange.
  • Whether states can expand Medicaid coverage to certain individuals or phase in coverage over several years.
  • Whether HHS will consider ways to help states manage patients currently eligible for but not enrolled in Medicaid who might be enrolled under the new mandate.
  • How to minimize the administrative burden of patients “churning” between Medicaid and exchanges
  • When CMS will issue regulations related to reduced Medicare disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments.

HMS Healthcare Management Solutions will monitor the response from Secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius.