KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Feds To Pa.: Shift Some Kids On CHIP To Medicaid

Federal officials denied a request by Pennsylvania to keep more than 50,000 children on the state CHIP program and have instead instructed officials there to shift the kids' coverage to Medicaid ahead of implementation of Obamacare. 

The Associated Press: Feds Force Pennsylvania To Shift Thousands Of Kids From CHIP To Medicaid
More than 50,000 children enrolled in Pennsylvania's insurance program for low-income families will have to switch to Medicaid now that the federal government has refused to grant the state an exception under the new health care law. The Corbett Administration says the refusal to grant an exemption means more than a fourth of the nearly 190,000 children enrolled in Pennsylvania’s CHIP program will have to move to Medicaid, but advocates like Richard Weishaupt of Community Legal Services in Philadelphia say that’s a good thing (Romeo, 9/11).

Harrisburg, Pa., Patriot News: Feds Won't Let Corbett Keep Children In CHIP 
The Obama administration has informed Gov. Tom Corbett that about 50,000 children with lower incomes will have to switch from CHIP to Medicaid as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Corbett opposes moving children out of Pennsylvania's popular CHIP health insurance program, arguing it will cause disruptions such as forcing some children to change doctors. Corbett exchanged a series of letters with U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius requesting flexibility on the matter. Sebelius has provided an apparently final answer, writing to Corbett that shifting the children to Medicaid will, among other things, enable children to have the same health coverage as their parents (Wenner, 9/11).

In the meantime, a third of Medicaid recipients in Connecticut now belong to a "patient-centered medical home," which aims to increase quality and reduce costs --

The CT Mirror: 'Medical Home' Program Now Reaches A Third Of Medicaid Patients 
A state program that pays health care providers to take a more active role in patient care now reaches close to a third of Connecticut’s Medicaid clients. Now in its second year, the "person-centered medical home" program allows primary care providers to earn additional money for meeting standards intended to improve outcomes and access to care for Medicaid patients. As of Sept. 5, 982 health care providers were participating in the program, either as fully qualified members or as part of a "glide path" for those still working to meet all the standards. Altogether, they see 218,511 Medicaid patients, about a third of the approximately 640,000 Connecticut residents covered by Medicaid (Becker, 9/11).

And in Iowa, billing for abortion in Medicaid makes news --

Des Moines Register: U Of I Isn’t Billing Medicaid For Recent Abortions
Gov. Terry Branstad has been spared the task of deciding whether Medicaid should pay for abortions, because the University of Iowa has declined to bill the program for such services. Legislators voted last spring to require the governor's personal approval before Medicaid could pay for any abortions. The controversial arrangement, the first of its kind in the country, was a compromise between abortion-rights advocates and abortion opponents, many of whom insist their tax dollars should not pay for abortions (9/12).

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