Tagged with Healthcare Reform

NJ – DHS Expands Behavioral Health Benefits Covered Under NJ FamilyCare

The New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) last month announced that it has expanded the list of covered health benefits available to align behavioral health coverage for Medicaid Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS), Fully Integrated Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (FIDE SNPs), and Division of Developmentally Disabled (DDD) MCO members participating in the New Jersey FamilyCare (NJFC) Medicaid managed care program.

MA – Senate Releases Comprehensive Health Care Legislation

Massachusetts Senate leaders have released a comprehensive health care legislation containing a wide range of provisions that, if finalized, would require the state to report the top 50 employers with the highest number of employees who receive coverage through MassHealth as well as require those companies identified to pay a large portion of a $200 million assessment to cover funding shortfalls in the state’s Medicaid program, MassHealth.

VA Issues Proposed Rule to Allow Telemedicine Across State Lines

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has proposed a rule that would preempt state laws restricting the ability of VA healthcare providers to supply telehealth services to veterans across state lines or within states, intended to increase the availability of mental health, specialty care, and general clinical care to veterans, especially in rural areas.

FL – 44.7% Proposed PPACA Rate Increase for 2018

Florida state officials have announced submission of the proposed rates for 2018 ACA plans. According to the announcement, premiums may increase by 44.7% next year for ACA compliant plans.

REMINDER: New Medicare Numbers and Cards Coming April 2018

Toward the efforts to further prevent fraud and identity theft, MACRA mandated that all Social Security numbers be roved from all Medicare cards by April 2019. CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards with randomly-assigned and unique identifying number in place of the beneficiary’s Social Security number in April 2018.

NJ – State Seeks Input on Reorganization Plan for Mental Health, Addiction Services

New Jersey has launched a six-week outreach effort aimed at aiding staff, providers, and consumers understand the potential benefits and timeline of the state’s Reorganization Plan 001-2017 which would transfer mental health and addiction functions from the Department of Human Services (DHS) to the Department of Health (DOH).

TX – Medicaid Proposes Reimbursement Cuts of at least 10% for Several Specialties

Texas Medicaid has proposed to reduce reimbursement rates by at least 10% for several specialties and services. The newly proposed reimbursement rates would take effect on October 1, impacting such specialties as Ears, Nose, and Throat, Radiation Oncology, Nuclear Medicine, Physician Administered Drugs, Substance Use Disorder Services, Hospital Outpatient Imaging, and Rural Hospital Outpatient Imaging.

Uninsured Rate Swells to 11.3% in Q1

Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index poll shows uninsured rate increased to 11.3% in the first quarter of 2017 from a record low of 10.9% in the last half of 2016.

CMS 2018 MA, Part D Final Payment Rates Announced with 0.45% Increase

CMS has released 2018 Medicare Advantage and Part D payment rates, announcing a 0.45% average rate increase. According to CMS, the changes made aim at providing benefit flexibility and efficiency which will allow Medicare enrollees to choose the care that best fits their health needs.

PA – Report Links over 850 Medication Errors to Health Information Technology

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority released an in-depth analysis of health information technology (HIT) related medication errors. The report indicates that 889 medication-error events were reported by health care facilities between January 1 and June 30, 2016, all of which indicated health information technology as a contributing factor.

New Final Rule Targets Pass-Through Payments

CMS’ newest Medicaid managed care final rule will prevent increases in pass-through payments as well as the addition of new pass-through payments beyond those in place when the pass-through payment transition periods were established.