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California Mental Health & Substance Use Policy Forum February 14, 2013 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM Presenter: John O’Brien, MA, Senior Policy Advisor, Center for M… Video Rating: 0 / 5

Twenty states and the District of Columbia have agreed to expand their Medicaid programs, to cover everyone under 133 percent of the federal poverty line. That leaves 30 states that haven’t, although Avalere categorizes four states as leaning in that direction (Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida and New York). Some of these states have especially large uninsured populations.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has placed a hold on one of President Obama’s top healthcare nominees. Marilyn Tavenner had previously seemed poised for an easy, bipartisan confirmation as the administrator of the federal Medicare and Medicaid agency.

The Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank which proposes policy reform legislation, has released a proposal that would lower healthcare costs and ultimately, reduce the federal deficit by $560 billion. The proposal includes a Medicare system that would allow beneficiaries to choose from three coverage options including the current fee-for-service model, a Medicare Advantage plan, or enroll in new ‘Medicare Networks’ within traditional Medicare. The Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank which proposes policy reform legislation, has released a proposal that would lower healthcare costs and ultimately, reduce the federal deficit by $560 billion. The proposal includes a Medicare system that would allow beneficiaries to choose from three coverage options including the current fee-for-service model, a Medicare Advantage plan, or enroll in new ‘Medicare Networks’ within traditional Medicare. read more

Obama has acknowledged that the federal budget is on an unsustainable path. … The president has set the right contours for a deal, and some of the specific proposals -; including higher Medicare premiums for high-income seniors and those with generous Medigap policies, as well as a more aggressive effort to move providers to more efficient payment systems -; are welcome (4/11).

According to a recently published document in the Federal Register, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing a rule that would extend a regulation that allows hospitals to donate electronic health records (EHRs) to physicians until 2016. The rule is an exception to a federal law that prohibits payments of particular services that are meant to encourage a referral back to the hospital

Administration pushes toward electronic medical records CMS and OIG both propose rules extending the safe harbor exceptions of both the Stark Law and the Federal Anti-Kickback Law that are set to expire on December 31, 2013. The laws would otherwise prevent hospitals and health systems from subsidizing EHRs for practices that refer patients to the organization

As the Oct. 1 start date nears for meeting Stage 2 of the meaningful-use criteria for hospitals in the federal electronic health-record incentive program, the CMS has posted a one-page tip sheet for providers on the reporting of clinical quality…

Federal authorities have dramatically lowered the amount that New York state can claim from the federal government for certain medical services, costing the state an estimated $1.2 billion.

Effective health screening and preventive care is known to reduce health care costs and improve health outcomes, yet new research from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) shows that restrictive Medicaid policies are associated with patients delaying needed medical care due to cost. States and counties with the most restrictive Medicaid eligibility criteria (where individuals must be far below the federal poverty level to qualify for Medicaid) have the highest rates of delayed care. The research appears in the March 28, 2013 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Effective health screening and preventive care is known to reduce health care costs and improve health outcomes, yet new research from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) shows that restrictive Medicaid policies are associated with patients delaying needed medical care due to cost. States and counties with the most restrictive Medicaid eligibility criteria (where individuals must be far below the federal poverty level to qualify for Medicaid) have the highest rates of delayed care. The research appears in the March 28, 2013 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. read more

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