Friday, March 18, 2016

Four Major Managed Care Industry Concerns by Jennifer Babcock (ACAP)

The managed care landscape is evolving with the elections around the corner and the Mega-Reg stipulated to release. There is a lot going on in the industry. Read about the four major concerns of the industry by Jennifer Babcock, Vice President for Medicaid Policy and Director of Strategic Operations, Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP):

1.    ACAP’s member plans are very innovative and nimble Safety Net Health Plans that have demonstrated a clear dedication to their enrollees, their communities and to safety net providers. Some Safety Net Health Plans have participated in Medicaid in their states for decades. The move toward consolidation in the industry poses a threat to this commitment, so one of ACAP’s primary goals is to provide support for and create efficiencies for these plans.

2.   The continued lack of an Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion in many states has produced a drastically inequitable coverage system with multiple negative impacts on people, providers, and states alike. I’m heartened, though, to see the efforts our members and many others are making in those states to encourage governors and state legislatures to expand.

3.   Despite progress, it is still so difficult for people to access all the services they need to thrive, including not only health services, but services addressing social determinants of health as well. Many ACAP health plan members have moved boldly into this area by providing linkages to housing, nutrition, and employment services. CMS has provided leadership in this area as well – one example is last year’s guidance related to how Medicaid programs can fund housing activities.

4.   The continued fragmentation of coverage and care complicates health care for families. Many of the families our plans serve are split between Medicaid, CHIP, Marketplace coverage, and Medicare. Certainly, plans can and do make the choice to operate in all of these programs to address overlap for families, but participation by plans in multiple programs is not a sure thing, and it is not an easy lift, particularly for Safety Net Health Plans. There aren’t always clear incentives for them to do so, which can mean that single families can have to manage two or more sources of coverage, networks, and so on. CMS’ efforts to align requirements across programs is appropriate and useful, although more work needs to be done in this area. Ultimately, enrollee families will benefit.

Jennifer Babcock, Vice President for Medicaid Policy and Director of Strategic Operations, Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP)Hear more from Jennifer Babcock as she will be chairing and presenting at the Medicaid Managed Care Congress (MMCC) 2016, Baltimore, MD with the session "Dive Deep into the Implications of the Mega-Reg"

Download the brochure to see the most up-to-date agenda for the MMCC here.

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