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Illumination Foundation Wins Supporting the Safety Net Award at 2016 ACAP CEO Summit

ACAP presented its eleventh annual Supporting the Safety Net Award to Illumination Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving access to housing, education, health care and other resources for people in Orange County (Calif.) and neighboring counties who are experiencing homelessness. The award was presented at ACAP’s CEO Summit in Washington, D.C. 

ACAP’s “Supporting the Safety Net” award recognizes a community-based organization or individual that has implemented exemplary, innovative programs to meet the health needs of high-risk populations and that can serve as a model of best practices for other communities.  Illumination Foundation aims to provide targeted, interdisciplinary services for the most vulnerable homeless clients to break or prevent the cycle of homelessness. The foundation provides a wide range of services including housing, workforce training, education, healthcare, and recuperative care in an effort to close gaps in services available in Orange County. 

Read more > 

ACAP Applauds Introduction of H.R. 5422, The Medicaid and CHIP Continuous Quality Act of 2016

ACAP and its member Safety Net Health Plans recently applauded H.R. 5422, the Medicaid and CHIP Continuous Quality Act of 2016, which was recently introduced in Congress by Representative Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and cosponsored by Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Mass.) 

The bill would enact a nationwide quality measurement and reporting system across the entirety of the Medicaid program, provide incentives to states for high performance and for improvement, and implement mechanisms that would help Federal and state taxpayers to understand and help improve the value of the Medicaid and CHIP program through quality improvement. 

“While more than 80 million people receive health coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Plan, it is difficult to get a clear picture of the quality of care delivered through these programs. Safety Net Health Plans strongly support Representative DeGette’s bill," said ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray in a statement. 

“This would extend a culture of transparency and accountability to all sectors of Medicaid and CHIP. Fee-for-service arrangements in particular have not been subject to the sorts of comprehensive, systematic quality reporting requirements with which health plans have complied for years." 

The bill is a companion to S. 2438, the Medicaid and CHIP Continuous Quality Act of 2016, introduced in the Senate by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). 

More at coverageyoucancounton.org >   Full statement > 

New ACAP, CHCS Report Highlights Safety Net Health Plan Innovations in Financial Alignment Demos

ACAP and the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) have issued a new report that examining the innovative practices of 14 Safety Net Health Plans participating in Financial Alignment Initiative demonstrations around the country in an effort to provide integrated care for people who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid benefits. 

The ACAP-member Safety Net Health Plans profiled in the report participate in the demonstrations as Medicare-Medicaid Plans (MMPs)—health plans that provide integrated, coordinated Medicare and Medicaid benefits for dually eligible beneficiaries. Collectively, these 14 ACAP MMPs enroll more than 100,000 beneficiaries, accounting for close to 30 percent of enrollment in MMPs nationwide. 

The report highlights several health plan innovations aimed at fulfilling the promise of integrated care across the Medicare and Medicaid program, including telemedicine initiatives that improve access, crisis centers, efforts to address unmet behavioral health needs, and more.  Read the report > 

Janette Conway of Neighborhood Health Plan of R.I. Wins ACAP's "Making a Difference" Award

ACAP recently recognized Janette Conway, a housing specialist with Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, with the organization’s national “Making a Difference” Award. The award recognizes an employee at an ACAP-member Safety Net Health Plan who goes far beyond the boundaries of their job description in efforts to improve their community, support underserved populations, and fulfill community needs.

Ms. Conway is a Housing Specialist on Neighborhood’s nursing home transition team. She supports Neighborhood’s members as they transition to independent living from long-term care facilities, including forging connections with social services vital to their independence. Ms. Conway was singled out for the extraordinary lengths to which she will go in an effort to advocate for the members in her charge. Read more >  

ACAP Reacts to Updated Managed Care Regulations

In a recent statement, ACAP provided reaction to several aspects of recently-promulgated Federal regulations surrounding Medicaid managed care. The update is the first overhaul of such scope since 2003. 

"The way that health care is delivered and paid for has evolved substantially since the last overhaul of the Medicaid managed care regulations in 2003. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made a number of thoughtful modernizations to these regulations. While we are pleased with some of the changes brought about by this update, we believe significant room for improvement remains," said ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray 

ACAP’s reaction includes specific notes on network adequacy and provider directories; quality measurement and reporting; establishment of a Medical Loss Ratio (MLR); the proposed 14-day period of fee-for-service (FFS) coverage for new enrollees, and more. Read more > | Summary of key provisions > 

New Report: 4 in 10 QHP Issuers Operate a Medicaid Plan in the Same State

A new ACAP analysis finds that of the 335 Qualified Health Plan issuers offering Marketplace plans in 2016, 137—or just over 40%—offer Medicaid managed care coverage in the same state. A closer analysis of the results, however, suggests that many individuals – even those residing in states with large numbers of overlap issuers – have limited access to plans that operate in both Medicaid and the Marketplace, as many overlap issuer plans are only offered regionally. 

Read the report >   Spreadsheet of QHP Issuers (Excel) >   Press release >

ACAP Applauds Preservation of Risk-Adjustment Fixes in Medicare Advantage Final Call Letter

ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray made the following statement about the 2017 Medicare Advantage Capitation Rates and Medicare Advantage and Part D Payment Policies and Final Call Letter recently issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS):

“With this final notice, CMS has addressed the flaw in its risk adjustment system that had led to systemic underpayments for health plans serving full-benefit dual eligibles—who are among the poorest, sickest, and most vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries.

“This fix will help Safety Net Health Plans and others to continue their mission to bring integrated services to full-benefit dual eligibles through coordinated, accessible, high-quality care—as is the intent of the Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan program as originally passed in the Medicare Modernization Act." Full statement >

39 Organizations Voice Support for 12-Month Continuous Enrollment in Medicaid, CHIP

Thirty-nine allied health organizations recently submitted a letter to leaders in the House and Senate urging them to pass legislation that would provide for 12 months’ continuous eligibility for Americans in the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP).  The legislation – H.R. 700 in the House, introduced by Reps. Gene Green (D-Texas) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), and S. 428, introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) – addresses “churn,” a phenomenon where people with Medicaid and CHIP coverage lose their eligibility because of bureaucratic paperwork issues or short-term changes in income. Read the letter > | Press release > 

Medicaid Managed Care Is Accountable Care:
Reporting Prevalence by Program Type

Source: CMS Medicaid Managed Care Enrollment Reports, 2013 | see more >