Kentucky DMS posts Medicaid Address Change Form online for members who need it

Kentucky Unbridled Spirit logoThe Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) has posted a Medicaid Change of Address form online for any Kentucky Medicaid member who needs to update their home address. The form is available by clicking here.

If DMS receives any returned mail from an address that is not current, members could be dis-enrolled from Passport (and lose all of their Passport-specific benefits). However, if this happens, the member will NOT lose their overall Medicaid eligibility; instead, they will remain eligible for Kentucky Medicaid and will be in the fee-for-service (FFS) category until their address is updated.​

If an address appears incorrect, the member will have the remainder of that month plus another month to update the address.

To update their address, the Kentucky Medicaid member just needs to print out the form, fill it out, sign it and either fax it to 1-502-573-2005 or send it by regular mail to Centralized Mail, PO Box 2104, Frankfort, KY 40601.

 

U.S. uninsured rate hits another record low, at just 8.8 percent without health insurance

NHIS LogoThe nation’s uninsured rate dipped slightly to 8.8 percent between January and September 2016, down from 9.1 percent the year before, according to the latest National Health Interview Survey data.

According to the report, in the first 9 months of 2016, 28.2 million people of all ages were uninsured at the time of interview, 20.4 million fewer than in 2010. Also, Hispanic adults saw the greatest gains, but remain biggest opportunity – only 24.7 percent of Hispanics were uninsured in the first nine months of 2016, down from more than 40 percent in 2013.

In Kentucky, just 6.5 person of people were uninsured at the time they were interviewed, while 46.7 percent said that they had public health plan coverage (such as Medicaid or Medicare) during the nine-month period and 57.1 percent said they had private health insurance coverage during that timeframe.

This report from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) presents selected estimates of health insurance coverage for the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population based on data from the January-September 2016 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), along with comparable estimates from previous calendar years. This report is updated quarterly and is part of the NHIS Early Release (ER) Program, which releases updated selected estimates that are available from the NHIS website.

 

Rural areas saw greatest increase in access to healthcare under Medicaid Expansion, according to Indiana University study

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act greatly increased access to health care for Americans, especially in rural areas, says an Indiana University study published in The Journal of Rural Health.

Researchers, who used data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey from 2011-15, found that expansion “increased the probability of Medicaid coverage for targeted populations in rural and urban areas, with a significantly greater increase in rural areas, but some of these gains were offset by reductions in individual purchased insurance among rural populations,” according to a Kentucky Health News article.

Medicaid covered almost 636,000 adult Kentuckians in the second quarter of this year, with the great majority of enrollees covered under Medicaid expansion and almost half of them young adults, according to a report done for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The report found that 493,199, or 78 percent, of the 635,747 adults covered by Medicaid in Kentucky were covered by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s expansion of the program to those who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The remaining 142,548 were covered by traditional Medicaid.

IU researchers found that Medicaid expansion increased the probability that low-income people would have health coverage, and it increased Medicaid coverage more in rural areas than in cities. There was some evidence that in rural areas, the expansion was accompanied by some shifting from individually purchased insurance to Medicaid.

 

Passport Health Plan Continued to Help Kentuckians Live Healthier Lives in 2016

Passport logoIt was a busy and very productive year for Passport Health Plan, as the nonprofit, community-based managed care organization (MCO) has seen extensive growth in membership and continued to help all Kentuckians live healthier lives.

Some highlights during the year include:

  • Passport and Evolent Health announced the formation of a strategic alliance that created The Medicaid Center of Excellence (MCOE), which combines Passport’s expertise in Medicaid managed care with Evolent’s industry-leading technology and operations to offer centralized services for provider-led Medicaid health plans nationwide.
  • Passport was once again named the top Medicaid plan in Kentucky, rated a 4 out of 5 by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for the second straight year, according to “NCQA’s Medicaid Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2016-2017.”
  • Passport received the highest number of five-star “excellent” ratings as tallied by the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) in their “2017 Guide to Choosing a Medicaid Health Plan,” which compared the five Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) that serve Kentucky Medicaid members.
  • Passport became a statewide sponsor of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to raise awareness about healthy nutrition, exercise and other steps Kentuckians can take to avoid the onset of diabetes, which affects close to 600,000 Kentuckians affected by diabetes and over 1.1 million at risk for diabetes.

Please click here for a closer look at some of the more notable events that happened in 2016 for Passport.

 

Organization helps Americans understand what Medicaid is all about

commonwealth fund logoMedicaid now covers more than 73 million people, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), making it the nation’s largest insurer. Yet the program is not well understood by the public.

That’s why The Commonwealth Fund put together these five facts about Medicaid:

  1. Nearly 16 million people have gained Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act’s expansions; most had previously been uninsured. A recent Commonwealth Fund survey found that about 60 percent of these newly insured adults were uninsured prior to gaining Medicaid coverage. Half were either uninsured for more than two years or never had coverage.
  2. Most people are satisfied with their Medicaid coverage. A recent Commonwealth Fund survey found that 88 percent of adults are satisfied with their new Medicaid coverage: 77 percent rate it as either good, very good, or excellent.
  3. Medicaid helps people get care and improve their health. About 70 percent of new Medicaid enrollees who’ve used health services said they would not have previously been able to access or afford their care. One study compared adults in two southern states that expanded Medicaid eligibility (Arkansas and Kentucky) to those in Texas, which did not. It found that people in Kentucky and Arkansas had greater access to primary care, were less likely to skip medications due to cost, were less likely to visit the emergency department, and were more likely to say they were in excellent health.
  4. Medicaid provides access to timely care. About two-thirds of adults with Medicaid coverage who tried to find a new primary care doctor found it very or somewhat easy to do so and 59 percent waited two weeks or less to see them.
  5. Medicaid provides comprehensive benefits and financial protection from large medical bills.

The mission of The Commonwealth Fund is to promote a high-performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults. For more information, please click here.

 

Nearly 636,000 Kentucky adults covered by Medicaid, new report shows

foundation for a healthy KYMedicaid covered almost 636,000 adult Kentuckians ages 19 to 64 in the second quarter of this year, according to a new report released by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

The findings are in the latest report from an ongoing study of the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Kentucky, commissioned by the Foundation in 2015. Of the 635,747 adult Kentuckians covered by traditional and expanded Medicaid as of June 30, 2016, 493,199 comprised the expansion population and 142,548 were covered by traditional Medicaid, the report said.

A copy of the new report, the 6th quarterly snapshot of the Study of the Impact of the ACA Implementation in Kentucky, is available by clicking here.

Funded by an endowment, the mission of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is to address the unmet health care needs of Kentuckians by informing and influencing health policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. For more information, please click here.

 

Passport’s Medicare Advantage program offers coverage, benefits for residents of Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Nelson counties

PAD logoPassport Health Plan is offering comprehensive medical and pharmacy benefits through its Medicare Advantage program – called “Passport Advantage (HMO SNP)” – to people who receive both Kentucky Medicaid and Medicare benefits and live in Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, or Nelson counties.

Passport Advantage is a Special Needs Plan for dual-eligible beneficiaries that provides care coordination and all healthcare services – including Medicaid, Medicare, and pharmacy services, all from one company – to a population that often experiences fragmented care.

“At Passport Advantage, we know how confusing health care can be, and we want to help. We try to make everything easy for our members, so that they can focus on their health and quality of life,” said Passport CEO Mark B. Carter. “We are proud to be Kentucky’s only nonprofit, community-based, dual-eligible health plan that is here to help Kentuckians get and stay healthy.”

Members who sign up for Passport Advantage will select a primary care physician that will provide their care and access to services. The annual enrollment period runs this year from October 15 through December 7, with services scheduled to begin on January 1, 2017. People can sign up by going to passportadvantage.com  or calling toll-free (844) 859-6152 (TTY/TDD: 711).

 

Passport Health Plan named the Top Medicaid Plan in Kentucky by National Committee for Quality Assurance once more

Medicaid Rankings GraphicPassport Health Plan has once again been named the top Medicaid plan in Kentucky, rated a 4 out of 5 by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for the second straight year, according to “NCQA’s Medicaid Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2015-2016.”

Each year, NCQA provides updated ratings of health plans across the U.S. These ratings provide consumers with a more accurate picture of how health insurance plans perform in key quality areas. The ratings align with the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Star Ratings of Medicare Advantage plans and give unprecedented importance to health outcomes and consumer satisfaction.

“By focusing on member satisfaction, preventive services, and how we treat chronic and acute conditions, NCQA has once again reinforced what we have known to be true for a long time – Passport Health Plan is a leading model of collaboration and innovation in health care,” said Passport Health Plan CEO Mark B. Carter. “This recognition validates the great results as our staff collaborates daily with our provider partners every day to help Kentuckians live healthier lives.”

A complete list of the ratings can be found at www.ncqa.org/ratings. For more information, please click here.

 

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.

Passport aids with research for Kaiser Family Foundation study about recent rural hospital closures

kaiser family foundation logoThe number of rural hospital closures has increased significantly in recent years, and this trend is expected to continue, according to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and the Urban Institute, raising questions about the impact the closures will have on rural communities’ access to health care services.

To investigate the factors that contribute to rural hospital closures and the impact those closures have on access to health care in rural communities, the Commission conducted case studies of three hospital closures that took place in 2015: Parkway Regional Hospital in Fulton, Ky.; Mercy Hospital in Independence, Kan.; and Marlboro Park Hospital in Bennettsville, S.C.

Passport Health Plan and Chief Executive Officer Mark B. Carter contributed to the research. Key findings include:

  • A number of factors contributed to the closures, including aging, poor, and shrinking populations; high uninsured rates; a payer mix dominated by Medicare and Medicaid; economic challenges in the community; aging facilities; outdated payment and delivery system models; and business decisions by corporate owners/operators.
  • The closures reduced local residents’ access to care, especially emergency care. While inpatient hospitals in these and other communities may not be sustainable, without new models of health care delivery in place, hospital closures can lead to gaps in access.
  • The closures led to an outmigration of health care professionals and worsened pre-existing challenges around access to specialty care.
  • New care models may be better able to address the health care needs of rural communities. Some rural hospitals may be able to adapt and new models may be created to address changing demographics and delivery systems.  Such reconfiguration may require federal support and assistance as well as regional planning efforts. A state’s decision about the Medicaid expansion has an important impact on hospital revenues and access to care, but the sustainability of rural hospitals depends on a broader set of factors.

To see the full report, please click here.

The Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit organization focusing on national health issues, as well as the U.S. role in global health policy. For more information, please go online to kff.org.