Archive for October, 2013


Enrollment in Medicaid is Strong

While the well-documented shortcomings of the web site are causing problems for the insurance expansion component of the Affordable Care Act, the Medicaid expansion aspect of that law appears to be proceeding as expected.

Between enrollment through state exchanges, outreach in low-income communities that started months ago, and the ability of those newly eligible for Medicaid under the reform law to sign up for benefits at government offices instead of through web sites, a number of states are reporting strong Medicaid enrollment numbers during the first month of Medicaid expansion.

Among the states where Medicaid enrollment has been strong are Kentucky, California, New York Maryland, and Washington.

Read more about how the current rate of Medicaid expansion compares to overall health insurance expansion as a whole and why the two appear to be on different courses in this Wall Street Journal article.…

A Look at the Corbett Pennsylvania Medicaid Proposal

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s “Healthy Pennsylvania” proposal calls for an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program as envisioned when the Affordable Care Act was passed three years ago.

Or does it?

Is it Medicaid expansion or is it something entirely different?  In the article “Pennsylvania Governor Talks Up Plan To Expand Medicaid His Way,” Kaiser Health News takes a look at how elected officials, advocates, and others are viewing the recent Healthy Pennsylvania proposal.  Find the article here.…

Budget Talks Could Focus on Sequestration

Upcoming federal budget talks may very well focus on addressing what are perceived to be the more damaging cuts resulting from sequestration – the two percent across-the-board cut in federal spending required under the 2011 Budget Control Act.

While Medicaid was not affected by the sequester, all Medicare payments have been cut two percent since January 1, 2012, and other health care-related funding has been affected by the law as well.

Now, participants in the budget conference committee created as part of the deal to end the federal government shutdown are suggesting that instead of pursuing a major reordering of federal spending, they may very well focus on addressing the most damaging cuts required by the federal budget sequester.

Learn more about what the participants in the upcoming negotiations expect in this Washington Post article.…

700,000 Have Applied for Health Insurance

The federal health insurance marketplace and state insurance marketplaces have drawn 700,000 health insurance applicants, according to the Obama administration.

It is not clear how many of these applicants came through the federal exchange and how many came through the state exchange and how many are eligible for insurance subsidies or Medicaid.

To learn more about this first look at new applicants, see this Kaiser Health News report.…

Quantity vs. Quality: Hospitals Look to the Future

Hospitals are increasingly seeing a future in which they are paid more for the quality of the care they provide to their patients than for the quantity of services they deliver.

This change has been inspired largely by the Affordable Care Act, but private insurers are increasingly following the same path.

USA Today looked at three hospital groups in Nashville – a five-hospital non-profit group, a for-profit group, and a university-affiliated non-profit – and examined how they are tackling the challenges they now face.  Read about how they are approaching these new challenges here.…