New NJ Governor Elected!

Submitted by Louise Lindenmeier, Director, NJ Government Affairs (GAO)

On November 7, voters elected nominee Phil Murphy to serve as the state’s 56th Governor starting this January through 2022.  Governor-elect Murphy chose Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver to serve as Lieutenant Governor.  Assemblywoman Oliver served as Speaker of the Assembly for four years.  All 120 of the legislative seats were also up for election.  The democrats increased their majorities in both houses where they will control the Senate 25-15, and the Assembly 52-28.  BAYADA is looking forward to the new administration to support home health care and help us deal with the many challenges of managed Medicaid, access to care, and increasing wages for our field staff through higher reimbursement under Medicaid and waiver programs.

 

NC DHHS Takes Another Step Towards Managed Medicaid

Submitted by Lee Dobson, Area Director, NC Government Affairs (GAO)

Last week, North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) released two requests for information (RFI) as their next step towards Medicaid Managed Care.  Both requests, statement of interest and financial operations, focus on the organizations that intend to bid to be a pre-paid health plan (PHP) for Medicaid.  “This RFI is an important step toward implementing the proposed program design that DHHS released in August,” said DHHS Assistant Secretary for Medicaid Transformation Jay Ludlam.  “We look forward to continued input and collaboration from health care providers, health plans, and other stakeholders as we build the strongest possible Medicaid program for North Carolina.”  Comments are due to DHHS on November 22.  Our BAYADA workgroup’s next opportunity to provide input is on the proposed 1115 Waiver application, which is slated to be released at the end of this year or early 2018.

 

NJ Personal Care Assistant Floor Bill Finally Signed into Law!

Submitted by Louise Lindenmeier, Director, NJ Government Affairs (GAO)

Governor Chris Christie, signed into law A320/S1080, which sets the Medicaid managed care rate at no lower than the state’s fee for service rate for personal care services.  The Governor had conditionally vetoed the original bill in July, adding stipulations in regards to funding, wage mandates, and an effective date.  With the new stipulations as law, the Government Affairs Office (GAO) will be working with our lobbyist and bill sponsors to introduce a new bill to restructure the governor’s changes with new language, which we believe will be better for the industry and our home health aides.

 

“649 Days Until Medicaid Managed Care Go-live” – Will Medicaid Meet Its Goal in NC?

Submitted by Lee Dobson, Area Director, NC Government Affairs (GAO)

 Last week, I attended the Medical Care Advisory Council (MCAC) meeting where Jay Ludlam the new NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Assistant Secretary for Medicaid Transformation presented the department’s program design for taking Medicaid into a managed care environment.  Having been on the job for less than three weeks, Ludlam said, “649 days until the Medicaid Managed Care go live date!”  While many steps need to occur before “go live”, including formal approval by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the department is aggressively working towards that goal.  I spoke with Mr. Ludlam after the meeting, not only to introduce BAYADA but also to express our concerns with the fast pace, and lack of details for how long-term services and supports will be incorporated into reform.  As you may recall, BAYADA formed a review team and has already submitted comments to the program design. The Government Affairs Office (GAO) will continue to participate in the discussion as the state formulates its plan.  Click to read Jay Ludlam’s complete bio.

Photo of Jay Ludlam link to his bio
Photo of Jay Ludlam link to his bio

Medicaid Transformation Underway in North Carolina

Submitted by Lee Dobson, Area Director, NC Government Affairs (GAO)

 On August 8, Secretary Mandy Cohen released her Program Design for Medicaid Managed Care. This is the first step in transforming the state’s Medicaid system to address both the physical and behavioral health of North Carolinians.  The proposed program design seeks to implement changes that advances high-value care, improves population health, engages and supports providers, and establishes a sustainable program with predictable costs.  BAYADA has formed a review workgroup to draft a formal comment to the program design, due September 8, and later the waiver application.  The goal is to improve health by creating an innovative and well-coordinated Managed Care environment to address the whole-person.