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In an ongoing effort to keep all beneficiaries, stakeholders, and various partners up-to-date on the status of Medicaid and the Kentucky HEALTH program, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is continuing to post updated guidance and resources on the Kentucky HEALTH website.
All interested parties are encouraged to check out the Kentucky HEALTH Legal Decision Guide (for beneficiaries, providers, and partners), which was recently published on the Kentucky HEALTH website. This guide includes information about reinstated dental & vision benefits and non-emergency medical transportation, premium payments and reimbursements for Kentucky HEALTH, information about the impact of the legal decision on Medically Frail individuals, and more.
There has been a great deal of confusion and misinformation related to Kentucky HEALTH and coverage for Medicaid recipients. CHFS continues to remind people that benefits have not changed for pregnant women and children. Passport is collaborating with CHFS and working with providers and other community partners to address ongoing questions.
Passport is joining with other area organizations and agencies to present “The Future of Food Security in Louisville,” an event designed to discuss solutions that could reduce food insecurity across the community.
The forum — which takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 18, at Home of the Innocents, 1100 E. Market St. in Louisville — will include a keynote address from Dr. Wayne Tuckson, president of the Greater Louisville Medical Society, a panel discussion featuring representatives from four local nonprofits, two Metro departments and the Jefferson County Public Schools district, and more.
Light refreshments consisting of organic farm-fresh produce from one of New Roots’ 12 community Fresh Stop Markets will be prepared onsite and served to attendees.
Joining Passport as event organizers are Louisville Urban League, the Jewish Community Center, and the American Heart Association. Other participating agencies include Dare to Care, Lift a Life Foundation, JCPS, New Roots, Farm to Table, The Center for Health Equity, Louisville Cooperative Grocery, and Greater Louisville Medical Society.
For more information or to register for the free event, please click here.
To honor the nation’s rural health leaders, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) is seeking nominations of “Community Stars” — individuals and organizations that work every day to close gaps, open doors, address challenges, and develop solutions through collaboration, education, innovation, and communication.
Selected Community Stars will be featured in an electronic publication that will be released on National Rural Health Day (Nov. 15, 2018).
To nominate a Community Star, visit https://bit.ly/2OMEoFW. Nominations are due by Friday, August, 24, 2018.
The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health is the membership association of the nation’s 50 State Offices of Rural Health. State Offices of Rural Health are anchors of information and support for rural communities, health professionals, hospitals and clinics across the nation. They are dedicated to collaboration, education, communication and innovation to improve health in small towns around the country.
Addiction is a troubling and potentially earth-shattering disease at any age, so when a teen becomes addicted to drugs, alcohol, or even something that seems harmless like a video game, the consequences can be devastating.
Andrew Davidson is a licensed clinical social worker whose private practice is centered on 14- to 18-year-olds. In other words, he knows how teenagers’ minds work, what motivates them, and what triggers addictive behavior.
Teens are most likely to experiment with alcohol, he says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville, adding that he has seen the whole list of addictive drugs, from marijuana to stimulants to opioids, in his patients. And he is quick to point out that gambling and video games are increasingly affecting young people in a negative way.
“I use a harm-reduction approach – I’m trying to reduce any kind of harm they could do,” he says. “If they choose to use, they need to know what the dangers are.”
Passport will able to answer questions you might have about Kentucky HEALTH, your Passport benefits, and more. We will have representation at the following events:
- Thursday, August 9 – Monticello Elementary Back to School Event
- Friday, August 17 – St. John’s Health Day in Edmonson County
- Monday, August 20 – Metcalfe County Back to School Social
- Wednesday, October 10 – First Annual Reentry Expo in Bowling Green
If you have any questions, please contact Priscilla Schwartz via email at Priscilla.Schwartz@passporthealthplan.com.
Passport Health Plan has provided a $25,000 grant to the Kentucky State Police Foundation, which will be used to purchase fentanyl response kits that will help KSP troopers avoid contact with dangerous drugs.
The kits include Tyvek suits, respirator masks, fentanyl protective gloves, safety glasses, and a portable gear bag. Grainger Inc. is supplying the gear, which will be issued to all sworn units through the KSP Supply Branch.
“At Passport Health Plan, our mission is to improve the health and quality of life of all Kentuckians,” says Passport Chief Operating Officer Carl Felix. “We’re proud to be standing today with the Kentucky State Police to offer this extra layer of protection in their battle against drug trafficking and abuse.”
KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders said the addition of the suits will have an immediate impact on officer safety.
“Our troopers and officers come into contact with fentanyl on daily basis,” says Sanders. “Whether they are responding to a traffic stop, apprehending suspects or responding to overdose calls – just touching fentanyl or accidently inhaling it during enforcement activity can result in absorption through the skin causing immediate and dangerous health effects.”
Kentucky Justice Secretary John Tilley, who has testified to Congress on the opioid crisis in Kentucky, commended Passport Health Plan for their forward thinking and their wellness outreach.
“KSP is on the front lines of the most lethal drug epidemic in history, and it’s creating extreme risks for our troopers and officers,” Tilley says. “These kits will not only save lives among the ranks of KSP, they will save the lives of many Kentuckians by helping get these deadly drugs off the street.”
“When budgets are stretched tight, it will take partnerships like these to truly impact the opioid crisis,” notes KSP Foundation Director Tom Rogers. “Our key mission is to support the men and women of the KSP and this project is yet another way we can pool resources that will directly impact these troopers and officers in the field.”
Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as an analgesic (pain relief) and anesthetic. It is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin as an analgesic.
Thankfully, the number of available beds for rehab treatment in Louisville has been increasing, but it is still not enough to match demand. Heroin may be the drug most likely to send someone looking for help today, but other substances – including alcohol – have the capacity to ruin lives.
For Shreeta Waldon, a licensed chemical and drug counselor at House of Ruth in Old Louisville, the key is for people to acknowledge an issue exists in the first place.
“First you have to tell me that you believe that there’s a problem,” she says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “You can’t create a new life, or replace that old life with a new one, if you don’t think you had a problem with it.”
To hear more from Shreeta Waldon, please click here.
According to the official Kentucky HEALTH website, members’ medical benefits will continue as they were prior to July 1, 2018, with no change. However, if a Kentucky Medicaid member received a notice saying they could access vision and dental services through a My Rewards Account, that member will not have access to dental and vision benefits. The legal decision has stopped the ability to use the My Rewards dollars in order to purchase dental and vision services.
Members are not required to do anything at this time and can continue to access medically necessary and preventive healthcare services.
The Kentucky HEALTH program offers support and resources for those interested in improving their income and health. This ruling does not threaten the opportunities Kentucky HEALTH has already created. Members can log on to CitizenConnect.ky.gov to take free online courses about health skills, life skills, and work skills. They can also visit KCC.ky.gov to find a nearby career center, where a coach can help find training, education, and job opportunities.
Passport members and community advocates around south-central Kentucky have a number of upcoming opportunities to learn more about Passport Health Plan and the Kentucky HEALTH program through member education sessions and other events.
Passport will be hosting a series of sessions for members in which they can learn valuable information about Passport, fill out their health assessment, and receive a special gift for attending.
Some upcoming programs of interest are:
- 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 10:30-11:30 a.m. on July 9 at the Edmonson County Public Library, 280 Ferguson St., in Brownsville.
- 10-11 a.m. and 11 a.m.-noon on July 11 at the Warren County Health Department, 1116 State St., Bowling Green.
- 2 p.m. on July 17 at the TJ Samson Pavilion, 310 North L. Rogers Wells Blvd., Glasgow.
For more information, to RSVP, or to find other resources in your community, please contact Priscilla Schwartz, Passport Community Engagement Representative, at Priscilla.Schwartz@passporthealthplan.com.
As you are likely aware, Kentucky has changed the way Medicaid works for some people. The state’s new program is called Kentucky HEALTH, which stands for “Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health,” and it officially begins on July 1.
Kentucky HEALTH offers health insurance for certain low-income adults and their families, encouraging them to do things that lead to better health and well-being.
There are five main parts of the Kentucky HEALTH program – Cost Sharing, Community Engagement/PATH (“Partnering to Advance Training and Health), My Rewards Account, Deductible Account, and Education & Training – and not everyone on Medicaid will be affected by all of the changes.
Thankfully, Passport and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) have created a number of resources to help you navigate these changes:
- Passport has created “Your Guide to Kentucky HEALTH,” a guidebook that helps explain who is eligible for the different parts of Kentucky HEALTH and what their obligations will be. This information is available online at passporthealthplan.com/together.
- Passport is also hosting a number of Member Education sessions all across Kentucky to help members understand how Kentucky HEALTH will affect them. The list of dates, times, and locations is available online at http://passporthealthplan.com/member-education-and-outreach.
- Passport has also created educational information for the healthcare providers in our network, including a “Quick Reference Guide” book that details the changes and a series of eNews This information is available online by clicking here.
- CHFS has produced an extensive website at kentuckyhealth.ky.gov that is filled with resources for individuals, providers, business, and community partners. These include toolkits, FAQs, pamphlets, videos, and more.
Passport members with questions should call the Passport Member Services department at 1-800-578-0603, and providers can call Passport at (502) 585-7900. More information is also available through social media, so be sure to follow both Passport and Kentucky HEALTH on Facebook and Twitter.