State Health Policy Blog

What happens when state health programs use separate data systems to serve the same population, such as mothers and children? State policymakers know that when those data systems do not “talk” to one another, states may waste resources on duplicative data entry and system maintenance; providers and state agencies may struggle to access information important […]

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    The Mental Health Parity and Equity Addictions Act Proposed Rules – a Checklist for States

    State policymakers have a critical role to play in how the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act (MHPAEA) is operationalized in state programs, including Medicaid managed care organizations, alternative benefit plans, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Now that CMS has released long-awaited proposed rules on implementation of the MHPAEA in these programs, […]

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    May 20, 2015 | Filed under: Behavioral Health, State Health Policy Blog

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    Conducting the Orchestra of Multi-Payer Payment Reform: Achieving Harmony in Arkansas and Vermont

    Imagine an orchestra filled with providers and plans each playing its own tune to move towards value-based payment to incentivize better care and health. Alone, each tune is recognizable. But without working together, cacophony abounds. Enter the state as conductor and participant in aligned multi-payer payment reform, and sweet sounds emerge. If it only happened […]

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    May 20, 2015 | Filed under: Payment Reform, State Health Policy Blog

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    Don’t Take Your Eyes Off Vermont:
    Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

    Okay, maybe as a California colleague suggests, it’s one of the “boutique states” and yes, its single payer plan stumbled, but don’t take your eyes off Vermont. Vermont is at work to hold down costs and reform payment and delivery systems. The Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) is engaged in comprehensive efforts to control health […]

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    Shaking Up the Delivery of Traditional Mental Health Services

    Several primary health care organizations (PHCOs) that I have spoken with in the states and in Australia during my 10-month fellowship have established a central referral point or “one stop shop” to help primary care practices connect their patients to community-based mental health and/or substance abuse services. These referral centers can take the load off […]

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    April 27, 2015 | Filed under: Behavioral Health, State Health Policy Blog

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    Extending CHIP is an Important First Step, More Work as We Look Ahead!

    Extending CHIP is an Important First Step, More Work as We Look Ahead!

    It’s a great relief to many state officials that Congress has passed an extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Last night, the U. S. Senate passed H. R. 2, a bill that already passed the House to repeal and replace the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) and extend federal funding for the CHIP […]

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    April 15, 2015 | Filed under: Children's Health, State Health Policy Blog

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    State Exchanges Breaking New Ground

    In the throes of headlines that feed either supporters or critics of the Affordable Care Act, it is time to take a look at innovation in progress. Let’s take a look at the states that have established their own state-based exchanges (SBEs)[1] to deliver quality, affordable health care to millions and bolster the march toward […]

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    April 14, 2015 | Filed under: State Exchanges, State Health Policy Blog

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    Traveling Medical Home Team Brings Multi-Disciplinary Services to Remote Tasmania

    Tasmania, Australia’s only island state, encompasses an area of 26,262 square miles – an area roughly the size of West Virginia – and is home to just over half a million Australians, most of them low income. According to Tasmania Medicare Local CEO Phil Edmondson, “We are the oldest and sickest and most poorly educated […]

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    Pilots in Colorado and Western Australia Integrate Paramedics into Care Team

    Walkabout Medical Homes with Mary Takach: A 10-month Study of Australia February 2015    Reducing inappropriate utilization of the emergency department (ED) is a very common focus of health systems, payers, and practices seeking to improve health care quality and reduce costs. To help break the cycle of non-emergency ED use lists of “superutilizers” are […]

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    February 24, 2015 | Filed under: State Health Policy Blog

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    Australian Policymakers Taking Cues from ‘Shark Tank’ on Disruptive Innovation

    Australian Policymakers Taking Cues from ‘Shark Tank’ on Disruptive Innovation

    Walkabout Medical Homes with Mary Takach: A 10-month Study of Australia January 2015  Many people are familiar with the U.S. television show, Shark Tank, where budding entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to a panel of industry giants or “sharks,” ultimately convincing one or more of them to invest. Imagine taking a similar premise and adopting it as […]

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    January 22, 2015 | Filed under: State Health Policy Blog