Archive for November, 2012


Cost of Medicaid Expansion Would be Minimal for PA

Expanding Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program as envisioned in the Affordable Care Act would cost Pennsylvania $1.96 billion over the ten years beginning in FY 2013, according to a new report released by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

While that price tag may seem steep, it is only 1.4 percent more than the additional money the state would spend if it declines to expand its Medicaid program as the 2010 health care reform law envisioned.

Expanding Medicaid would spur a 52 percent increase in the number of Pennsylvanians with health insurance.  Without the Medicaid expansion, the number of insured would rise 28.9 percent because of other Affordable Care Act provisions.

Learn more about how Medicaid expansion would affect Pennsylvania in this Central Penn Business Journal article.  The Kaiser Family Foundation study on which it is based can be found here.…

A Look at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

A small but important part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act was creation of a new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).  Allocated $10 billion, CMMI’s mandate is to pursue innovations in  health care delivery, quality, cost containment, and payment systems.

Just three years into its work, CMMI already has spent half of its $10 billion allocation on a variety of pilot projects, among them initiatives that seek to get hospitals and doctors to work more cooperatively; that encourage state-wide health system redesign; that attack cardiovascular disease; and that attempt to influence doctors to play a greater role in overseeing the care of the chronically ill.

For a closer look at CMMI, its mandate, and how it is going about its work, see this CQ HealthBeat report presented by the Commonwealth Fund.…

State Medicaid Costs Will Rise With, Without Expansion

State Medicaid costs would rise $76 billion – three percent – over the next ten years if every state participates in the Medicaid expansion that is a major part of the Affordable Care Act.

But only $8 billion of that increase would be associated with expanded Medicaid eligibility.  The rest would occur as a result of normally rising enrollment and health care costs.

And in return for that $76 billion, states would receive $952 billion from the federal government to pay for the care of their Medicaid recipients – including 20 million people who would be newly eligible for Medicaid as a result of the program’s expansion.  Together, these expenditures would reduce the uninsured rate in the U.S. by an estimated 48 percent.

States also would save a collective $18 billion in charity care spending.

This new information comes from “The Cost and Coverage Implications of the ACA Medicaid Expansion:  National and State-by-State Analysis,” a report prepared by the Urban Institute and released by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

According to the report, 10 states that already provide expanded coverage would see a net savings because they would receive a better federal matching rate for some of their Medicaid expenditures.  On …

Editorial Endorses PA Medicaid Expansion

In a Sunday editorial, the Philadelphia Inquirer has urged Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett to expand the state’s Medicaid program, as called for in the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Expansion, the editorial notes, would bring health insurance to 600,000 additional people, with the federal government picking up most of the tab, while creating jobs and boosting the state’s economy.

Read the Philadelphia Inquirer editorial here.…

Implications of Sequestration for Medicare, Hospitals

What aspects of Medicare would be affected by sequestration?  What aspects would be exempt?

And how will sequestration cuts affect overall Medicare spending?

Read more about sequestration and Medicare in “What Does Sequestration Mean to Medicare?” on the web site of the Medicare NewsGroup, where you also will find links to an explanation of sequestration and a discussion of the role Medicare is playing in fiscal cliff talks.…