NOSORH’s Policy and Program Monitoring Team (PPMT) is excited to announce an upcoming virtual conference titled State Coverage Initiatives Affecting Rural Communities. This four-part series will examine current and proposed state initiatives affecting Medicaid coverage, with a focus on the impact to rural communities. The four-day series will take place May 14-17, 2018 at 3:00 pm ET daily. SORH and their partners are encouraged to attend, as well as inviting anyone who has an interest in rural health policy.
The first two sessions will feature Harvey Licht of Varela Consulting discussing the landscape of state initiatives, including ACA marketplaces and Medicaid waivers. Session three will focus on ACA Marketplaces at the state level with presentations from leadership in both Alaska and New Mexico’s departments of insurance. Session four will focus on Medicaid waivers, highlighted by policy experts from Indiana and Kentucky. Sessions three and four will focus on state-specific examples of these initiatives in a listening session format, allowing attendees to ask questions during the webinar.
For more information on the terrific line-up of presenters, and to register, see the individual session flyers below:
NOSORH offered an informative webinar on Improving Rural Health Network Adequacy in February. In case you missed it, all the materials and recording have been posted to NOSORH’s website. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has changed the regulatory environment for health network adequacy. New regulations and guidance are being issued at the both Federal and State levels. The webinar explored opportunities for State Offices of Rural Health to participate in the new efforts and approaches to assuring that health networks, including Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), have adequate providers and facilities.
As the PPACA continues to rollout, we see that special arrangements are needed to meet inadequate numbers of providers or facilities in rural shortage areas to ensure appropriate access to enrollees. SORHs are knowledgeable about services in these communities and are well placed to participate in efforts to assure appropriate rural health care.
There are several new initiatives designed to improve the regulation of health network adequacy nationwide. There will be new opportunities at the State and Federal level for SORHs to address this issue with State Medicaid programs, State Insurance Commissioners and Health Exchanges.
Listen to the first webinar on the requirements for Network Adequacy and how SORHs can get involved and help implement strategies that makes the most sense for rural areas. As this process unfolds, NOSORH will provide more learning opportunities to review the changes in the coming year.
Back to March Branch
In an effort to provide consistent medical care to thousands of underserved residents, South Carolina’s “Medicaid System” has implemented a statewide program designed to coordinate care and provide a medical home for some of its most at-risk residents.
Now in its second year, the Healthy Outcomes Plan (HOP) asked every hospital in the state to identify a predetermined number of low-income, uninsured residents who visited the emergency department at least five times in the last year, and who suffered from a chronic condition such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, sickle cell or HIV/AIDS. The size of the hospital determined the number of residents they were required to identify, with 50 being the minimum for the state’s smallest hospitals. All of South Carolina’s hospitals are participating in the program. The state’s three largest metropolitan hospitals had to identify at least 750 residents. “Activity always follows the dollar,” said Graham Adams, Ph.D, CEO of the South Carolina Office of Rural Health (SCORH). “The hospitals were incentivized to get on board or they would lose the Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) money they were already receiving. Plus, the state gave additional money to every hospital involved in the program. Our 19 rural hospitals received 100% of their DSH money.”
Dr. Adams went on to say that HOP is particularly important in the rural areas, where residents are less likely to have a medical home and often wait until they are very ill before visiting an emergency department for care. SCORH provided technical assistance to rural hospitals in the development of the program. “Rural providers have a close relationship with their patients and as a result were more successful in identifying and bringing new patients into the program.” The goal for the first year of HOP was to enroll 8,500 residents.
Now in its second year, Dr. Adams said the program has been beneficial because it provides a medical home and a system of care for people who really need it. “It gives incentives for medical providers to work together for these folks well-being. Controlling the chronic illnesses of our residents is one of the biggest benefits so far,” he said. “Overall, it’s been a very positive thing.”
Back to November Branch
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2014
FACT SHEET: Affordable Care Act by the Numbers
The Affordable Care Act is working. It is giving millions of middle class Americans the health care security they deserve, it is slowing the growth of health care costs and it has brought transparency and competition to the Health Insurance Marketplace.
HEALTH CARE BY THE NUMBERS
HEALTH CARE COST GROWTH IS LOWEST IN DECADES
THE SECURITY OF HEALTH INSURANCE FOR MILLIONS OF MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES
An online brochure, created by the Southwest Rural Policy Network (SWRPN) and distributed by the Arizona State Office of Rural Health, aims to provide quick and easy information on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for a rural audience there.
The brochure was a response to a W.K. Kellogg Foundation initiative called Rural People, Rural Policy and was developed by the SWRPN’s Health Action Team, according to Joyce Hospodar, AZ SORH Health Systems Development Manager and SWRPN Action Team Chair. Using money from that initiative, the AZ SORH was able to make printed copies to distribute in the state, which so far it has distributed to many organizations including AHECs, FQHCs and hospitals. “All the other material we are seeing on the ACA is so complicated,” Hospodar said. “We’re trying to get the information more understandable to people living in rural communities. As people become more aware of the ACA, we’ll be able to increase their participation in what they’re eligible for, so more people will be getting insurance and be involved with the benefits of the ACA.”
Feedback on the brochure has been positive, Hospodar said. “The momentum is increasing, more people are wanting it. It has been lauded for ease of use.” By popular demand the brochure is being translated into Spanish, and public service announcements are being written from it in both English and Spanish, which will be targeted for national distribution.
Funding for development of the brochure came from the Kellogg Initiative. Despite the up-front costs of web development and printing, Hospodar said, she thinks it will be a good investment. “So many organizations are working to get the word out about the ACA that there’s lots of duplication. We’re trying to streamline it. The brochure can be used to answer questions that patients—and citizens—have about the ACA quickly and easily.”
Hospodar said that both the online and print brochure versions can be modified and used by other State Offices of Rural Health (SORHs), but it will require some funding for the modifications. The New Mexico members of the Health Action Team have tailored the brochure for their state and have made it available online. To access the Arizona and New Mexico ACA brochures, visit the SWRPN Affordable Care Act page. SORHs that are interested in adapting the brochure for their use can contact Hospodar for more information, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 520- 626-2432.