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

Medicare and Medicaid spending will exceed $1 trillion in FY 2013.  Together, the two programs now serve about 113 million Americans - over a third of the population.  Policymakers in Washington and the states face a daunting challenge to containing costs in Medicare and Medicaid – both health programs are...
The cost of hospitalizations, particularly hospital readmissions, is increasingly a concern for Medicare, Medicaid, and private health plans. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in particular has emphasized reducing hospitalizations and readmissions. Results from the CMS Medicare Coordinated Care Demonstration pilot project show coordinated care for Medicare...
Enrollees in both Medicare and Medicaid, called dual eligibles, are the most expensive and vulnerable group of beneficiaries. More than 40 percent of dual eligibles have severe cognitive disabilities, are likely to have severe physical disabilities, and have higher rates of chronic disease, such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s. All...
Somewhere between 11 million and 21 million will become newly insured under Medicaid thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), depending on whether you subscribe to the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) or the Urban Institute. The Supreme Court’s decision in NFIB v. Sebelius gave states...
Special Needs Plans for dual eligibles (D-SNPs) account for a large and growing category of Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans (SNPs), reaching 1.2 million or 83 percent of SNP enrollees in 2012. Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans for dual eligibles, commonly an HMO, are often key players in new integrated Medicare-Medicaid health plan...
State Medicaid directors need greater flexibility and faster federal approval to maintain or establish new managed long-term supports and services (MLTSS) programs in Medicaid. A growing number of states are implementing such programs, from 8 states in 2004 to 16 states in 2012. “A strong and effective federal-state partnership with clearly aligned...
Special Needs Plans are a type of Medicare Advantage plan that is allowed to selectively market and enroll Medicare beneficiaries with special needs.  Special Needs Plans (SNPs) offer the opportunity to improve care for Medicare beneficiaries with special needs, primarily through improved coordination and continuity of care.  SNPs must also...
Medicare Part D prescription drug plan formularies in 2012 covered 96 percent of the drugs most used by people eligible for both full Medicare benefits and Medicaid - full benefit dual eligibles - according to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG). That figure is...
The nation’s 9 million Medicare-Medicaid dual eligibles - low-income frail seniors and persons of all ages with severe disabilities - now use about $350 billion in healthcare annually.  States and CMS are rolling out models to integrate Medicare and Medicaid financing and care delivery for dual eligibles.  These reforms are of...
A new federally mandated tax on health insurers will increase costs for state Medicaid programs and Medicaid health plans. In an excellent new report, PPACA Health Insurer Fee Estimated Impact on State Medicaid Programs and Medicaid Health Plans, Milliman, retained by the Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA), conducted an independent...

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