Kentucky Cabinet provides updated information about KY HEALTH program

KY Health NoticeWe are still waiting for official word from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) about Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s Section 1115 waiver application proposal, known as KY HEALTH (Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health).

In the meantime, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) has produced a “Kentucky HEALTH Quick Facts”one-pager for all Kentuckians. It is available online on the Kentucky HEALTH website under “additional information.” Also available online is the updated Kentucky HEALTH Overview Presentation and a quick reference Kentucky HEALTH Eligibility Summary.

 

 

Governor Bevin officially submits Kentucky HEALTH 1115 waiver proposal to federal government

kyhealthGovernor Matt Bevin has officially submitted the comprehensive “Kentucky HEALTH” proposal – which would transform Kentucky’s Medicaid program – to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

According to a news release, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) announced a comprehensive Section 1115 waiver application proposal for Kentucky that is Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health (HEALTH) as a first step towards the implementation of the plan.

The full Kentucky HEALTH Waiver is available for review by clicking here, and the official federal comment period is expected to begin in early September.

State officials urge communities to ‘Step It Up’ and help people walk more

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is challenging communities and organizations to join Step It Up, Kentucky!, a statewide campaign that aims to improve the health of all Kentuckians by building the demand for walkable communities.

Public health recommends getting 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week to improve health, which can easily be achieved by walking. People are more likely to make the decision to walk when they have places, programs and policies that provide opportunities and encouragement.

“Getting people to move more starts with improving the places we live, learn, work and play,” Elaine Russell, coordinator for the Obesity Prevention Program, said in a news release. “Communities can be built for people to be active in their everyday life. By providing safe, attractive and convenient places to walk, anybody can incorporate exercise into their daily routine.”

“Step It Up, Kentucky!” has already received numerous endorsements from businesses, organizations, individuals and state leaders, including Gov. Matt Bevin, who issued an official proclamation in support of “Step It Up, Kentucky!”

There are many things communities can do to support “Step It Up, Kentucky!,” including participating in walking programs, working with local coalitions to create spaces and opportunities for walking, or just spreading the message that Kentucky communities need to be redesigned as thriving places for everybody to be active and healthy.

For more information, visit the Partnership for a Fit Kentucky’s website. If you are interested in reading more about obesity prevention, increasing access to physical activity, or what other communities are doing to encourage wellness, visit the Partnership for a Fit Kentucky’s blog.

 

Stephen Miller of Louisville named Commissioner of Department of Medicaid Services (DMS)

Kentucky capitolStephen P. Miller, CPA, has been named Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Medicaid Services (DMS).

“As we work to redesign the Medicaid program and transition it to a more affordable, sustainable model tailored to Kentucky’s needs, it is important to have someone with a deep understanding of the healthcare industry leading the Department of Medicaid,” Gov. Matt Bevin said in a release. “The Commonwealth is fortunate to have someone of Stephen Miller’s caliber, financial acumen, and business experience willing to serve in this role.”

“As a CPA with more than two decades of financial management experience in a healthcare environment, I believe Steve is an excellent choice to lead the Department for Medicaid Services,” said Vickie Yates Brown Glisson, Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). “Steve will be a tremendous asset to both the Governor and the Cabinet as we seek to address the financial unsustainability of the current Medicaid model in a way that will improve health outcomes for its members and save taxpayer dollars.”

Miller has spent the past 24 years as Vice President of Finance with the Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA), where he assisted in the development of KHA’s position on pending legislation and monitoring federal and state reimbursement issues. In his role, Miller interacted with Medicaid and Cabinet leadership on many issues related to hospital reimbursement and regulatory issues.

“I look forward to heading the agency that provides the safety net for the most vulnerable of Kentucky citizens,” said Miller.

Miller is a graduate of the University of Louisville, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in accounting. He and his wife Mary, along with their two married daughters live in Louisville.

 

Governor Bevin tells federal government he wants to dismantle kynect

Kynect LogoAs you may have heard, Governor Matt Bevin has followed through on a campaign promise and has notified federal authorities that he plans to dismantle kynect, Kentucky’s health insurance exchange created under the Affordable Care Act.

According to an article in the Courier-Journal, Bevin wrote in a Dec. 30 letter to Sylvia Burwell, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that he plans to wind down the state health exchange and transition Kentuckians to the federal site, healthcare.gov, to shop for insurance under the law.

Meanwhile, kynect  remains open and the changes will not affect anyone shopping for insurance for the current enrollment period, which ends Jan. 31. Nor will the changes affect anyone who signed up for Medicaid, the government health plan for low-income citizens, through the kynect site.

The earliest changes to kynect would come in November 2016, if the governor can work out a plan with the federal government to wind down kynect, which includes the online site people use to obtain health coverage. If he succeeds, Kentuckians would use the federal healthcare.gov site starting in November 2016. People would continue to enroll in Medicaid through the state.