KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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N.H. Panel Likely To Suggest Keeping Medicaid Expansion But Is Looking For Cost Cutting Steps

The 15-member Commission to Evaluate the Effectiveness and Future of the Premium Assistance Program has until Dec. 1 to submit its report to the Legislature. Meanwhile, Kansas is waiting on federal officials to approve a waiver request so that the state can design a new program for implementation in 2019.

New Hampshire Union Leader: Commission Faces Deadline For Decision On Medicaid Expansion
A legislative commission set up to evaluate the future of expanded Medicaid in New Hampshire will likely recommend that the program continue past its current expiration date of Dec. 31, 2018, but the lingering question is in what form. “The charge to the commission was to look at whether Medicaid expansion is working, and I think 50,000 people are benefiting, hospital uncompensated care has gone down significantly, and employers have access to a healthier population,” said state Sen. Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, “so I think you can make an argument that it’s working well. But there is also an argument that it’s one of the causes of the individual market premium increases, and we’ve got to try to resolve that.” (Solomon, 10/4)

Concord Monitor: Commission Explores Managed Care Medicaid System In New Hampshire
Members of a Medicaid study commission are exploring shifting the state’s Medicaid expansion population onto a managed-care model, a potentially transformative proposal intended to address predicted future premium spikes. At a meeting Wednesday, the commission, chaired by Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, heard from executive directors of local managed care organizations and deliberated on whether New Hampshire should join other states in adopting the model. Managed care is a system by which states contract with specialized providers – MCOs – to accept Medicaid patients at a fixed rate per patient. The providers administer medical services within a network of hospitals and physicians, much like insurance. (DeWitt, 10/5)

KCUR: As Deadline Nears, Kansas Still Waiting For Federal Approval Of KanCare Extension 
Kansas officials say there is little chance that more than 400,000 Kansans who depend on the state’s Medicaid program will see their services interrupted. They say they are confident federal officials will approve a critical waiver request before an end-of-the-year deadline. “We’ve met all the requirements, so I would expect approval to be coming very soon,” said Michael Randol, director of the division of health care finance at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. (McLean, 10/4)

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