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Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Opens

Eighteen ACAP-member Safety Net Health Plans are accepting new enrollments effective November 1. 

"Safety Net Health Plans are entering the Marketplace as others exit," noted ACAP CEO Meg Murray in a statement. "One has joined the Marketplace for the first time this year. Others are strongly considering entry in subsequent years." Read the statement > 

New Report Shows Best Practices of Health Plans Around Childhood Obesity

ACAP, in conjunction with the Institute for Medicaid Innovation and Medicaid Health Plans of America, recently released a report that highlights ways in which health plans serving the Medicaid population can address childhood obesity, one of the most common and significant health conditions in the U.S. The toolkit, which also assesses current prevention and treatment initiatives and offers practical advice to health plans seeking to improve their assessment and treatment of childhood obesity, arises from an initiative known as Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment (CHOPT) for Medicaid, an effort funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

While the long-term health and financial consequences of childhood obesity are well-known, the base of evidence to inform effective interventions for children is underdeveloped. The Medicaid managed care industry and other stakeholders sought to fill the gaps in knowledge through the CHOPT for Medicaid partnership by identifying Medicaid managed care organizations’ best practices that address childhood obesity.

“Childhood obesity often carries into adulthood, which increases risk for conditions including breast cancer, heart disease and diabetes,” noted ACAP CEO Meg Murray. “Preventing and treating childhood obesity is a substantial investment in our future.”

Full report >   Press release >

Safety Net Health Plans Come Together to Address Diaper Need

ACAP and several member Safety Net Health Plans are marking Diaper Need Awareness Week by noting a wide range of activities in which plans across the country have engaged to connect people who live in need of diapers to community resources and other programs that can help. 

Diaper need is a significant yet oft-overlooked fact of life for many families with low incomes. As any parent knows, babies use anywhere from 6 to 10 diapers per day at a monthly cost of $70 to $80. An estimated 5.3 million children under age 3 live in families with low incomes, many of whom struggle to afford diapers. Among government programs, benefits received through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program can go toward the purchase of diapers, but only about 1 in 4 families with low incomes receive TANF benefits.

Safety Net Health Plans Earn Top Marks in NCQA Health Plan Ratings

ACAP congratulates its top-performing health plans listed in NCQA’s Medicaid Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2016-2017

Top-performing (rating of 4.5 of 5) ACAP-member Safety Net Health Plans health plans include:

  • AmeriHealth Caritas of Pennsylvania
  • Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan (Mass.)
  • Neighborhood Health Plan (Mass.)
  • Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island
  • UPMC for You (Pa.)
Safety Net Health Plans which were the top-rated plan in their state include

  • CalOptima (Calif., rated 4/5)
  • Passport Health Plan (Ky., rated 4/5)
  • Well Sense Health Plan (N.H., rated 4/5)
  • CareSource (Ohio, rated 3.5/5)

The rankings were based on metrics of clinical quality and member experience. More > 

ACAP Recognizes Senator Ron Wyden with 2016 Congressional Leadership Award

ACAP recently recognized Senator Ron Wyden, the senior Senator from Oregon, with its 2016 Congressional Leadership Award.  Senator Wyden, who has served in the Senate since 1996, was recognized for his leadership in advancing policies surrounding the Medicare Advantage program that would promote the program’s sustainability—and, more importantly, its equitability for Medicare beneficiaries who have low incomes. Read more > 

CHCS/ACAP Collaborative to Develop Tools to Lower Risk for Substance Use Disorder Among Youth

A new collaborative effort of seven ACAP-member Safety Net Health Plans will embark upon a three-year learning project to increase the identification of youth who are at risk for substance use disorder.

The project, designed and coordinated by the Center for Health Care Strategies in partnership with ACAP, and funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, will make extensive use of Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment, or SBIRT. SBIRT is an evidence-based approach to identifying patients who are at risk for abuse of alcohol and other drugs that is intended to not only identify patients who have substance use disorder, but also those who are at high risk for developing such a disorder and reducing their level of risk.
Read more >   Infographic >

Policy Brief: Medicaid Managed Care Associated With Better Access to Primary Care for Foster Youth

A new policy brief suggests that Medicaid managed care is associated with better access to care for foster youth compared with fee-for-service arrangements. The brief provides a preliminary look at data analyzed by Melissa Bright, Ph.D., an Assistant Research Scientist at the College of Medicine and the Institute for Child Health Policy at the University of Florida, who recently completed research that looked at how a change in health care financing from fee-for-service to managed care affects health quality for foster youth.

Preliminary analyses suggest that Medicaid managed care is associated with significantly increased access to primary care for children two years and older; with significantly increased access to child well-care visits for children ages 3 to 6 and ages 12 to 18. Read more > 

Dr. Bright’s research was underwritten by a competitive grant granted through a partnership between ACAP and AcademyHealth. 

ACAP Applauds Introduction of H.R. 5422, The Medicaid and CHIP Continuous Quality Act of 2016

ACAP and its member Safety Net Health Plans recently applauded H.R. 5422, the Medicaid and CHIP Continuous Quality Act of 2016, which was recently introduced in Congress by Representative Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and cosponsored by Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Mass.) 

The bill would enact a nationwide quality measurement and reporting system across the entirety of the Medicaid program, provide incentives to states for high performance and for improvement, and implement mechanisms that would help Federal and state taxpayers to understand and help improve the value of the Medicaid and CHIP program through quality improvement. 

“While more than 80 million people receive health coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Plan, it is difficult to get a clear picture of the quality of care delivered through these programs. Safety Net Health Plans strongly support Representative DeGette’s bill," said ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray in a statement. 

“This would extend a culture of transparency and accountability to all sectors of Medicaid and CHIP. Fee-for-service arrangements in particular have not been subject to the sorts of comprehensive, systematic quality reporting requirements with which health plans have complied for years." 

The bill is a companion to S. 2438, the Medicaid and CHIP Continuous Quality Act of 2016, introduced in the Senate by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). 

More at >   Full statement > 

• Well Sense Health Plan (N.H., rated 4/5)

Medicaid Managed Care Is Accountable Care:
Reporting Prevalence by Program Type

Source: CMS Medicaid Managed Care Enrollment Reports, 2013 | see more >