Federal government reapproves Kentucky HEALTH program for 2019

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has announced that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved the Commonwealth’s Section 1115 Medicaid waiver known as Kentucky HEALTH (Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health).

CMS provided guidance that the newly approved program can begin as soon April 1, 2019. Accordingly, the PATH (Partnering to Advance Training and Health) Community Engagement component will be rolled out regionally over several months beginning no sooner than April 1, 2019.

“Kentucky HEALTH offers a customized path based on individual needs that will help beneficiaries gain better health, engagement in their communities, improved
employability, and success through long-term independence,” CHFS Secretary Adam Meier said in a news release. “This individualized approach affords flexibility and procedural protections that will ensure Medicaid is able to provide beneficiaries access to services and opportunities, while utilizing a holistic approach to addressing barriers and challenges that affect overall health.”

Stay tuned to Inside Passport and be sure to check the official Kentucky HEALTH website for updates.

 

Passport Health Plan and March of Dimes Donate Diaper Bags to Families with Babies in UofL Hospital NICU

As part of National Prematurity Awareness Month, Passport Health Plan and March of Dimes are stepping up to help families who have babies being treated in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at University of Louisville Hospital.

Passport (the provider-sponsored, nonprofit, community-based health plan administering Medicaid benefits to more than 310,000 Kentuckians) and March of Dimes (the nation’s leading maternal and infant health nonprofit) are donating fully stocked diaper bags to help families during one of the most emotional and tense times in their lives.

“The preterm birth rate in the United States is on the rise for the third year in a row, a trend signaling an urgent health crisis for moms and babies,” says Passport CEO Mark Carter. “Passport and March of Dimes share a common goal – to work towards a day when every baby born in Kentucky arrives full-term and completely healthy.”

In Jefferson County, the preterm birth rate is an alarming 10.9 percent, based on 2016 data.

“Passport is proud to work with the March of Dimes to help promote healthy pregnancies and babies,” says Passport Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Houghland. “Through this collaboration, we strive to prevent premature birth and birth defects, educating moms and supporting families in need.”

To read more, please click here.

 

Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book shows where progress is being made or still needed

The 2018 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book offers the latest data on 17 measures of child well-being, showing whether outcomes for children across the commonwealth have improved, worsened, or stayed the same over a five-year period.

Detailed data is available for every Kentucky county at www.kyyouth.org/kentucky-kids-count/.

“Core to our mission, we believe that children of every background and in every part of Kentucky deserve all the tools and opportunities that we as a commonwealth can provide. This book serves as an annual report card for how we are meeting that charge for all of our kids,” said Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates.

The 2018 County Data Book allows users to investigate areas in which Kentucky and its counties are making progress and those needing focused attention for improvement. It highlights data in four domains of child well-being: economic security, education, health, and family and community.

The 2018 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book was made possible with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the 2018 KIDS COUNT sponsors: Passport Health Plan, Kosair Charities®, and Delta Dental of Kentucky.

 

Passport and March of Dimes donate 50 diaper bags to families with babies in UofL Hospital NICU

As part of National Prematurity Awareness Month, Passport Health Plan and March of Dimes are stepping up to help 50 families who have babies being treated in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at University of Louisville Hospital.

Passport (the provider-sponsored, nonprofit, community-based health plan administering Medicaid benefits to more than 310,000 Kentuckians) and March of Dimes (the nation’s leading maternal and infant health nonprofit) are donating 50 fully stocked diaper bags to help families during one of the most emotional and tense times in their lives.

The preterm birth rate in the United States is on the rise for the third year in a row, a trend signaling an urgent health crisis for moms and babies, March of Dimes says. In Jefferson County, the preterm birth rate is an alarming 10.9 percent, based on 2016 data. Premature birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) is the largest contributor to infant death in the United States and around the world.

The official donation will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 17 (World Prematurity Day) at UofL Hospital, 530 South Jackson Street. Members of the news media are invited to attend. Officials from Passport, March of Dimes, and UofL Hospital will be available for comment.

For more about March of Dimes, go online to marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org.

 

University of Louisville professor thinks trees could help improve region’s health

Blame for Louisville’s high incidence of heart disease has long been attributed to a population that has unhealthy eating habits, a high rate of smoking, and an overall lack of exercise. In some circles, the city’s reputation has earned it an unwelcome nickname — Coronary Valley.

Dr. Aruni Bhatnager

But a new idea called “The Green Heart Program” seeks to determine if the simple presence of trees and more green spaces can improve overall health and lower the region’s rate of heart disease.

“We are testing the idea that if you increase green spaces in an urban community, you will see improvements in health,” Dr. Aruni Bhatnager, a University of Louisville professor of medicine who is leading the study, said in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville.

Dr. Bhatnager said the study will enroll 700 people living in south Louisville neighborhoods and measure their risk for heart disease. The project will then plant nearly 10,000 large mature trees in those areas, then go back later to see if the presence of green affects the health of the community.

To hear more from Dr. Bhatnager, please click here. To learn more about the Green Heart project, please click here.

KIPDA plans pair of events to help residents understand insurance Open Enrollment period

The Kentuckiana Regional Planning & Development Agency (KIPDA) is hosting a pair of events to help people during the current Open Enrollment periods for Medicaid, Medicare, and through the federal commercial exchange at healthcare.gov.

KIPDA has trained staff who can help answer questions at no cost. Open Enrollment is a short period of time when people can change their insurance or enroll into insurance for the first time. The Medicaid Open Enrollment period runs from November 1 through November 30. The Medicare Open Enrollment period runs from October 15 through December 7.

The two events where KIPDA will be providing free health insurance assistance will be:

  • From 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 8, at South Central Library, 7300 Jefferson Blvd., Louisville, KY 40219
  • From 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday, November 16, at Ridgeway Library, 127 N. Walnut St., Shepherdsville, KY 40165

KIPDA is an association of local governments in a nine-county region of southern Indiana and north central Kentucky. For details, please click here or call (502) 266-5571.

 

Kentucky officials produce documents to answer questions about Medicaid copay policy

The Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) has produced a series of documents about the copays many people on Medicaid have already been paying. Starting January 1, 2019, everyone who is not otherwise exempt will start paying copays for some services.

Preventive services do NOT have copays. Preventive services include screenings, check-ups, and patient counseling to prevent illnesses, disease, or other health problems. This copay policy will begin on January 1, 2019, even if the Kentucky HEALTH program has not started.

The following documents have been produced by DMS:

For more information, please go online to the official DMS website.

 

Nominate someone for a 2019 Commitment to Compassion Award

Compassion is more than just being sympathetic. Compassion means acting on the desire to alleviate the suffering of another. Those in the health care field seem to have an extra sense of compassion for those who need help in overcoming challenges.

Compassionate LouisvilleThe Commitment to Compassion Award was created to honor some of the people every year who exemplify true compassion in care delivery. It all began three years ago, when Jill Bell, vice president and chief communications and marketing officer at Passport Health Plan, and Stephanie Barnett of ChooseWell Communities, along with members of the staff at Insider Louisville, came up with the idea of honoring health care professionals who show extraordinary compassion in their approach to their work and their life.

The awards are given out each year at the Commitment to Compassion luncheon. The fourth annual luncheon will be held at the Muhammad Ali Center in Downtown Louisville on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019.

Do you know someone who deserves recognition for what he or she does to improve the lives of those around them? Somebody who inspires and challenges you to become more compassionate yourself? Click here to nominate a compassionate honoree today. The deadline for award nominations is Friday, Dec. 21.

 

Symposium will help primary care practitioners learn more about detection and prevention of Chronic Kidney Disease

In an effort to help primary care practitioners (PCPs) and other healthcare professionals learn more about Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), the National Kidney Foundation, with the support of Passport Health Plan, is presenting “CKDinform: Early Detection and Prevention Symposium” from 7:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, October 20, at the Marriott Louisville East. ***UPDATE: This event is being rescheduled until early 2019 — stay tuned for more details, or email alana.miller@kidney.org.***

CKDinform is a collection of evidence-based resources provided in a diverse “toolbox” that will enable them to recognize CKD earlier and develop treatment protocols to slow progression.

Physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, and other clinicians who care for people with CKD are invited to sign up for a morning of learning and networking. As a bonus, all those in attendance can earn up to 3.0 CME/CEs for just $25. Breakfast is included.

Register at www.kidney.org/ckdinform-louisville or contact Alana Miller by sending an email to alana.miller@kidney.org or calling (502) 585-5433.

The National Kidney Foundation is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease.

 

Passport Advantage (HMO SNP) will expand into 12 more counties starting in January 2019

Passport Advantage (HMO SNP) is going to be expanding its service area to 12 additional counties, effective January 1, 2019.

PAD logoThe application was approved by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) to expand the Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) Dual Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) to 12 additional counties. Currently, Passport Advantage covers residents of Bullitt, Hardin, Jefferson, and Nelson counties who have both Medicaid and Medicare benefits. Starting January 1, 2019, Passport Advantage will be available to residents of the following counties:

  • Breckinridge
  • Bullitt
  • Carroll
  • Grayson
  • Hardin
  • Henry
  • Jefferson
  • Larue
  • Marion
  • Meade
  • Nelson
  • Oldham
  • Shelby
  • Spencer
  • Trimble
  • Washington

For more information, please go online to passportadvantage.com or call toll-free 1-844-859-6152.