As some of you may know there is a new federal bill that has been introduced into the US Congress, the Graham-Cassidy Bill, related to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA.)
The Congressional Budget Office expects to have a preliminary assessment of the implications of the bill next week. The plan, however is to get this passed before September 30th when they would then need 60 votes to pass a budget bill rather than the 51 votes needed now. They are moving fast on this action.
In a press release published on September 18th by NH Governor Chris Sununu, he does not support the bill as it is currently crafted. He states “Unfortunately, under this plan, New Hampshire could possibly lose over a $1 billion in Medicaid funding between 2020-2026.”
See the full statement from Governor Sununu below.
The SB553 workgroup convened on August 9th. DHHS Commissioner Jeff Meyers reviewed the SB155 language, articulating that CFI and Nursing Facilities SHALL be incorporated into managed Medicaid on July 1, 2019. He quickly went on to state that there is NO plan for incorporating DD, ABD or IHS into managed care at this time, nor does he expect there to be one at any time in the near future. The focus of SB553 work is solely on CFI and NF at this time. There were presentations given outlining different managed Medicaid models such as ACOs, provider-run ACOs and hybrid MCO-ACOs.
The bill states that services provided under the Choices for Independence waiver (CFI) and nursing facilities shall be incorporated into the Medicaid managed care delivery system beginning on July 1, 2019.
The remaining provisions of step 2 of the Medicaid managed care program, (this includes the services under the three waivers DD/IHS/ABD) shall not be implemented before July 1, 2019.
Many of you have written testimony, called your legislators, and even testified in front of the House or Senate Finance committees over the last few months for the biennial budget hearings. We appreciate your dedication and outreach during this critical time of advocacy and hope it helped empower you to continue to advocate for yourself, your child, or a loved one. Your voice is important!
This bill establishes procedures for the implementation of phase 2 of the Medicaid managed care plan.
The major legislative priority of the NH Community Behavioral Health Association in 2016 was reauthorizing the NH Health Protection Program. We are happy to report that HB 1696 was signed into law two weeks ago by Governor Hassan. The community mental health centers are immensely grateful to legislators on both sides of the aisle who supported the bill, particularly Senators Jeb Bradley and Chuck Morse, and Speaker Shawn Jasper. We also want to thank our fellow healthcare advocates and providers for their hard work getting this legislation across the finish line!
The hearing on SB 553 was well attended today. Everyone from NH who spoke supported this bill. The MCO’s were allowed to speak, and were lukewarm in their support. Families spoke about the fact that the system for Step 1 is not working well, and their frustration with continually having to do prior authorizations on the same medications.
For those of you who may be planning to make the trip Concord on Thursday morning, a few tips that may make the experience an easier one.
We know that is has been a little while since we have asked for you to engage in the goings on of the NH Legislature but we have some exciting news: Senate Bill (SB) 553 relative to implementation of the Medicaid managed care program is having a public hearing in the House Health and Human Services & Elderly Affairs committee and we need your help!
This bill (which has already passed the Senate on a vote of 23-0) would prevent DHHS from expanding the Medicaid managed care program before June 30, 2017. It would also require DHHS to receive legislative approval for any future expansions of Medicaid managed care via the Joint Fiscal committee.
The Health and Human Services Oversight committee conducted its month meeting this morning.
Of interest, Commissioner Meyers spoke about the budget and dashboard statistics. The department currently has a Medicaid deficit of about $22 million. There are about 138,000 people on Medicaid in NH. The deficit is a result of the state budget, which projected a slight decrease in caseloads, while the reality had been flat or slight increased caseloads. There are no plans to implement any budget reductions at this time.