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

Over nine million American children - 12.8 percent of kids - have special health care needs. They face a wide range of conditions, including congenital anomalies, severe physical disabilities, severe asthma, complex organ system diseases (e.g. cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia), major depression, and the devastating effects of physical...
A new report examines the impact of state budget cuts on Medicaid managed care programs in four states: Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Oregon. Developed by Bailit Health Purchasing LLC for the National Academy for State Health Policy, the study offers valuable insights. It's recommended reading for state Medicaid executives,...
Medicaid health plans are the Ginger Rogers of managed care. They have to do everything commercial and Medicare health plans do but have to do it backwards and in high heels. Despite dealing with more complex requirements and the toughest, most vulnerable patient populations, Medicaid health plans often provide...
In 2002, Medicaid became the world's largest health program, with expenditures exceeding the better-known Medicare program. With over a third of trillion dollars in spending and over 50 million beneficiaries, America's most complex and fastest growing health program is also its largest. Not surprisingly, Medicaid is now the largest part...
State Medicaid programs are the nation's largest buyers of prescription drugs, serving over 50 million Americans, including the most vulnerable and costly patients. However, Medicaid drug benefits are complex and vary from state to state and among the diverse populations served. We now have an wealth of new information on...
States will play a key role in the new Medicare prescription drug benefit. This includes financing much of the drug costs for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities. Here is some useful information for state leaders: - Implications of the New Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit for State Medicaid Budgets. From...
Health insurers, whether commercial health plans or public programs like Medicaid and Medicare, only wish to pay for care that is necessary. Every day they make decisions on what is and is not "medically necessary." Gov. Phil Bredesen has proposed a new definition of medical necessity for TennCare, Tennessee's long-troubled...
In Medicaid, health plans save money and improve quality of care. While this is no surprise for state Medicaid execs, the mounting evidence of HMO performance in Medicaid is in sharp contrast to public and media perceptions. In a carefully analysis of 14 studies, The Lewin Group found that "In...
Preventable medication mistakes in hospitals is a leading causing of death. Top patient safety experts and The Leapfrog Group have called upon hospitals to replace risky, paper-based prescriptions with computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems. If installed in every major hospital, CPOE systems would save tens of thousands of lives...

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