Medicaid

Health Care
7:52 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Would Full Medicaid Expansion In PA Cause Coverage Glitches?

The federally-approved waiver for Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania is set to begin covering hundreds of thousands of newly eligible Pennsylvanians in January. Depending on who’s governor-elect at that point, there may be some changes.

Democratic nominee Tom Wolf has said he would implement a full Medicaid expansion if elected governor in November.

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Election 2014
2:46 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Election 2014: What To Know About Medicaid Expansion In PA

90.5 WESA is exploring several of the key issues being debated as part of the 2014 Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign.

Medicaid Expansion

Gov. Tom Corbett’s Healthy Pennsylvania substitute for the federal Medicaid expansion was officially accepted by the Department of Health and Human Services on August 28. The plan would use federal subsidies to offer private insurance plans to more than 600,000 low-income residents who qualify.

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Health Care
8:10 am
Wed September 3, 2014

PA’s Medicaid Enrollees Could See Benefit Cuts

Policy analysts are staying tuned for additional changes to Medicaid benefits for current enrollees in Pennsylvania.

Federal officials set aside Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposal to curb Medicaid benefits when they considered his overall plan to expand health care coverage for the working poor by using private insurance plans. But the changes still under negotiation could limit things like wheelchairs, homecare visits and physical therapy for Medicaid enrollees.

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Medicaid expansion
4:14 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Frankel Urges State To Adopt Medicaid Expansion

Healthcare advocates, along with State Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny), unveiled an online ticker today, which tracks the amount of money they claim Pennsylvania is losing by rejecting Medicaid expansion.

As of today, the state has missed out on more than $640 million since the start of 2014, according to the ticker.

“It’s hard to turn your back against this when it addresses so many important issues facing the state at this time,” Frankel said.

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Government & Politics
10:18 am
Fri January 10, 2014

State DPW Concludes Hearings on Medicaid Overhaul Proposal

About 40 members of the public spoke out at the seventh and final hearing on the Corbett's administration's Medicaid overhaul plan Thursday in Harrisburg.
     
State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo was among them.
     
The Bucks County Republican said the state should accept federal Medicaid expansion dollars now while it continues to negotiate an alternative plan with the federal government.
    
But Department of Public Welfare Secretary Bev Mackereth suggested it's not a financially viable option without the reforms they're proposing.
     

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:22 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

An Update on Governor Corbett's Health Care Plan

Credit Talk Radio News Service

The Corbett Administration is making details of its alternative proposal to the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion available to the public.

The Governor recently held a presser on his health care plan days after releasing it online. The plan, which would allow hundreds of thousands of people to enroll in private health insurance plans subsidized with federal funds, is one step closer to receiving federal review.

90.5 WESA's Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson reports on the plan from Harrisburg and says the proposal is similar to those of other states, but includes a few elements unique to the Commonwealth’s needs.

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Health
4:12 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Options Aplenty, Lower-Than-Expected Premiums for Pittsburghers in Health Insurance Marketplace

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that people will have more options in the health insurance marketplace and premiums will not be as high as originally thought. 

Premiums nationwide will be about 16 percent lower than originally expected.

“In the past, consumers were too often denied or priced-out of quality health insurance options, but thanks to the Affordable Care Act, consumers will be able to choose from a number of new coverage options at a price that is affordable,” Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. 

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Government & Politics
8:12 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Corbett Administration Says Medicaid Plan Doesn't Need Legislative Approval

The Corbett administration insists it doesn’t need legislative approval to go forward with its overhaul plan for Medicaid, despite some cries to the contrary.

The governor has linked his acceptance of federal funding for private health coverage for low-income residents to a separate plan to change Medicaid benefits and add a work-search requirement.

Todd Shamash, a deputy chief of staff in the governor’s office, says Corbett doesn’t need legislative say-so to go forward, as long as federal officials approve.

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Government & Politics
2:12 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Drug Database Proposal Part of Corbett's Health Care Plan

Part of the Gov. Tom Corbett's Medicaid plan includes health care policy changes that remain in the hands of the state Legislature, including one bill supporters say would reduce prescription drug abuse.

The governor called on state lawmakers to expand the state's medication tracking database. The current system monitors only certain drugs, and law enforcement alone has access to the information.

A bill before the state House would expand the database to track all controlled substances. It would also let doctors and pharmacists check the database.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:05 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Concerns in Governor Corbett’s Medicaid Expansion

Is Gov. Corbett's plan for medicaid expansion in PA a step in the right direction?
Credit 90.5 WESA

Governor Tom Corbett’s medicaid expansion plan sounds like “a step in the right direction” according to Erin Ninehouser, the Education and Outreach Director for Pennsylvania Health Access Network, but she does have some reservations.

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Government & Politics
2:48 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

With Corbett's Medicaid Plan, a Familiar Rift in His Own Party

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s plan to reform Medicaid and extend federally subsidized private health coverage to half a million more Pennsylvanians is riling up the staunch conservatives within his party.
    
GOP state Representative Daryl Metcalfe of Butler County says he’s calling the proposal an expansion, even if the governor isn’t using the same language.

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Government & Politics
3:39 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Corbett Sends Medicaid Plan to Feds

Gov. Tom Corbett addresses the media at PinnacleHealth Harrisburg Hospital on Monday.
Credit Mary Wilson / 90.5 WESA

Gov. Tom Corbett is proposing a way for about half a million low-income Pennsylvanians to get access to health insurance, but only if the federal government signs off on reforms to the state's traditional Medicaid program.

The proposal includes replacing Medicaid co-pays with monthly premiums that will range from zero to $25 a month per person based on a recipient's income. The governor also wants to require working-age Medicaid recipients, with some undefined exceptions, to show they're looking for work or getting job training.

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Health
4:54 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Federal Initiative Aims to Lower Hospital Re-Admissions from Nursing Homes

Thirteen of the Pittsburgh region’s nursing homes are taking part in a federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) initiative to reduce the number of nursing home residents who are re-admitted to the hospital within 30 days.

Four of those 13  are the Kane Regional Centers in McKeesport, Glen Hazel, Ross and Scott Township.  Those centers are receiving an in-house nurse practitioner and employee training designed to help pick out situations that need medical intervention.

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Health
3:30 am
Sun May 26, 2013

Hospitals and Health Care Providers Switch to Electronic Records

Doctors, hospitals and patients are now more connected than ever as the majority of health care providers in the United States are making the switch to electronic health records.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced recently that it already exceeded its goal for 50 percent of doctor’s offices and 80 percent of eligible hospitals to use EHRs by the end of 2013.

According to a 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, 17 percent of physicians and 9 percent of hospitals were using EHRs in 2008.

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