Friday Five – March 2, 2018

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March 02, 2018

In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about a new bipartisan health care reform proposal, expanding mental health coverage, a study on children’s health care costs, and predictions about the future of Medicaid.

1. Bipartisan group of governors unveil new health reform proposal

Last Friday, several governors released their joint proposal to reform health care. As reported in The Hill, the plan focuses on linking payment to quality, not quantity; increasing access to care; expanding state Medicaid innovations; and stabilizing the health insurance market.

2. Trump administration weighs mental health coverage option

By law, Medicaid cannot pay for mental health treatment in facilities with more than 16 beds. States have begun actively seeking waivers to this policy for substance abuse issues, and according to the Associated Press, the Trump administration is now considering allowing waivers that expand to include broader mental health issues.  

3. Children on Medicaid and CHIP have more affordable care than private

Health Leaders Media reports on a recent survey that found children who have only Medicaid or CHIP insurance are four times as likely as those with only private insurance to rate their out of pocket health care costs as reasonable, despite being significantly more likely to live in low-income households.

4. GAO: States’ evaluations of Medicaid demonstrations have ‘significant limitations’

The GAO has recommended changes for how and when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services receives evaluation data from states with Medicaid waivers. According to Becker’s Hospital Review, these recommendations come after GAO found gaps in information needed to determine efficiency and effectiveness.  

5. Payment reform seen in Medicaid's future

In this article from MedPage Today, attendees at a recent event on the future of Medicaid predict that payment reform, increased focus on mental health and substance abuse treatment, and new tools and programs implemented on the state level will be major elements in the near future.