Kip Piper's Health Care Blog
Medicare, Medicaid, Health Reform

When the Medicare prescription drug benefit begins on January 1, 2006, about seven million beneficiaries face more restricted drug formularies. Currently, these "dual eligible" individuals receive their drug benefit through state Medicaid programs, which offer more liberal formularies than what will be expected of the new Medicare drug plans. In...
New evidence on the high incidence of preventable, often deadly drug errors in nursing homes raises serious implications for the new Medicare prescription drug benefit. Each month, one in ten nursing home residents suffer a medication-related injury, according to a new study in the American Journal of Medicine. The lead...
In his proposed federal budget for FY 2006, President Bush is proposing $60 billion worth of cuts to the Medicaid program. Concerned about perceived gaming by states and not wanting to open up the far more troubling can of worms that is Medicare, the Administration singled out Medicaid for...
In 2005, state Medicaid programs will pay for over 18 percent of the nation's quarter trillion dollar pharmaceutical market. Thanks to an excellent new analysis by Jim Verdier and colleagues at Mathematica Policy Research, we have new insights into cost and use patterns in Medicaid. Some highlights: ● Average monthly Medicaid...
Many Americans living with HIV/AIDS receive critically important prescription drug coverage from state Medicaid programs. For these beneficiaries, Medicaid typically offers broad formularies, low cost sharing, and access to a large network of pharmacies. However, about 50,000 to 60,000 persons with HIV/AIDS will be losing Medicaid drug coverage on January...
The new Medicare prescription drug benefit presents many challenges to the nation's seven million dual Medicare-Medicaid eligibles. On January 1, 2006 they must move from broader, more flexible Medicaid drug coverage to the narrower, extraordinarily complex Medicare drug benefit. Among those in jepordy are about a half million frail...
States continue to serve as laboratories for health care reform. In recent years, many of these state-based efforts have focused on: 1. Leveraging Employer-Based Coverage: With the goal of making health insurance coverage more affordable to small businesses and their employees, state tools include (a) premium assistance, (b) reinsurance to...
Medicaid has become a fiscal disaster for states. With spiraling costs, bulging enrollment, and a degree of complex only a quantum physicist could love, Medicaid is in desperate need of large-scale reform. The National Governors Association (NGA) has adopted an interim policy on comprehensive Medicaid reform. The policy, which all...
By Michael H. Bailit, MBA President of Bailit Health Purchasing, LLC Introduction The serious problems in our health care system have been more than adequately documented in this journal and many others over the two past decades. Rates of uninsurance rise with a steadiness fueled by costs that seemingly know no bound....
For cash-strapped state governments, the "clawback" is the most controversial and costly provisions of the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) and the new Medicare prescription drug benefit. Now, as state begin new fiscal years and grapple with the latest Medicaid spending projections, some state leaders are balking at paying the federal...

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