The state’s Medicaid program isn’t perfect. Anyone who says it is probably doesn’t know what they’re talking about. However, it isn’t irreparably broken — it needs targeted reforms. That’s what we’re wanting to achieve with Senate Bill 1111 and House Bill 2750.
SB 1111, Sen. Dan Brown’s legislation to bring hospitals and other providers regulatory relief through Medicaid managed care reform, is expected to move toward floor debate in the Senate shortly. The bill, which I discussed in part on March 11, would set new, value-focused expectations for Medicaid managed care.
Prior to legislative spring break, MHA sent a letter asking hospitals to engage lawmakers in their districts, encouraging support of SB 1111. Earlier this week, hospitals received another request, underscoring the importance of legislative contacts on the bill. At the same time, we’ve been asking our grassroots advocates to weigh in. In two days, more than 250 members of our Missouri Health Matters grassroots community emailed their lawmakers in support of the bills.
The arc of the Medicaid managed care debate has been toward statewide expansion. It’s imperative that lawmakers understand the real implications for providers. There’s a strong sense in the Capitol that managed care is movement toward a better program — that expansion of managed care itself would be a reform. Of course, the evidence suggests the opposite is the case.
SB 1111 and its House companion are the vehicles to improve managed care — with expansion statewide or not. They are common sense reforms that will improve the ability of hospitals and other providers to focus on caregiving, rather than managing health insurance bureaucracy. They include reforms built around the most important relationship in care — which isn’t the patient and payer, but the patient and physician.
For all the reasons we’ve provided in our calls for action, research and in previous editions of this column, the entire caregiver community must stand against statewide expansion without necessary reforms. When the bill gets to the Senate floor for debate, members of that body must be fully informed of the gravity of the legislation. If they haven’t heard from their local hospitals, it will be too late.
History, and credible contemporary research, prove that managed care doesn’t effectively manage care. That doesn’t sound like a legitimate reform plan. If lawmakers want to make Medicaid better, the best way is to invest where the evidence suggests it will make a difference. And, that’s reform of Medicaid managed care itself.
Please take the time to contact your lawmaker about SB 1111. We will be asking some of you to contact your state representatives in support of HB 2750 during the committee review process. There’s only one month left in this year’s session. We need these regulatory reforms to create a better system for hospitals, physicians and the patients they serve.
If I can be of help, send me a note.
Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO
In This Issue
House Committee Advances Bill On Price Transparency And Medicaid Fees
Senate Committee Approves Three Health Care Bills
CDC Releases New Youth Tobacco Use Report
April 14, 2016
CMS Announces OQR Webinar
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
New NHSC Site Application Cycle Opens
April 13, 2016
Senate Approves FY 2016 Supplemental Appropriations Bill
Organizations Provide Missouri Children’s Trauma Network Training Summit
NAMD Submits Comments On Outpatient Drug Rule
MHA Updates Quality Reporting Guides
NHSN Releases New Worksheet Generator For Surveillance
BKD Offers Bundled Payment Success Webinar
April 12, 2016
Governor Orders State Agencies To “Ban The Box”
Senate Approves Helipad, Prescription Refill Bills
House Advances Health Bills
HIDI HealthStats — Diabetes And Health Equity
CMS Announces Availability Of Hospital-Specific Reports For 2017
USPSTF Releases Recommendations Linking Aspirin Use To CVD And CRC Prevention
QRC Announces VBP Program Webinar
April 11, 2016
CMS Announces CPC+ Model
MSMA Offers Workshop On Physician Office Commercial Payor Billing And Collections
MHA Award Reminders: Aim For Excellence, Visionary Leadership
CMS Announces Rural Health Open Door Forum