Friday Five - April 7, 2017

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April 07, 2017

It’s Friday and this week in our Friday Five series, MAXIMUS is following what State Medicaid directors predict for the program’s future; why Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries’ coverage could be at risk; and what a bipartisan approach to health care could look like. 

1. State Medicaid Directors Look to the Future

State Medicaid directors are hoping to give the $550 billion program a face-lift – and the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) is leading the charge. NAMD envisions itself as an “equity partner” alongside the federal government, as opposed to a stakeholder organization such as a hospital or doctor. Bloomberg BNA details the changes that NAMD predicts for Medicaid and what congressional support for such changes might look like.

2. Six Things to Know About the New GOP Health Care Proposal

Health care reform has been dominating the news cycle. After the GOP was unable to pass their health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Republican leaders earlier this week proposed a new plan to repair the ACA. From pre-existing conditions to state waivers, Becker’s Hospital Review lists the key points you need to know about the new proposal.

3. More Than Eight Million Children Could Face Higher Insurance Costs Without CHIP

Should the federal government fail to extend funding this year for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), more than eight million children could lose coverage, according to a recent study published in Health Affairs. CHIP provides insurance for children in low-income families, and those most at risk of losing coverage include children with chronic conditions such as diabetes or asthma, who make up two million of CHIP’s beneficiaries. Yale News describes the study’s findings and what the impact could mean for the program and its constituents.

4. What a Bipartisan Approach to US Health Care Could Look Like

Despite skepticism about policymakers’ ability to reach across the aisle, it remains clear that a bipartisan approach is necessary to achieve real health care reform. Harvard Business Review outlines what a bipartisan health care agreement could look like, touching on the need to encourage competition, reduce the cost of care and continue providing coverage for America’s neediest populations.

5. Congress Extends VA’s Program of Private-Sector Care

Congress recently approved legislation to allow the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to continue operating its Choice Card program, which helps increase veterans’ access to private-sector health care. The Choice Card program allows veterans to pursue medical care outside the VA network to avoid extended wait times. Had Congress declined to extend the program, VA Secretary David Shulkin said it would have been “a disaster for veterans.” Military Times explains more about the program and why a “Choice 2.0” may be in the cards.