TB Healthcare, Advocacy for Non-Profits 8/10
- Subject: TBHC News and Update/Meeting Reminder 8-10-06
Greetings Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative Members!
TampaBay Healthcare Collaborative Quarterly Membership Meeting
Date: August 10, 2006
Time: 9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m.
Special Topic: Advocacy 101 for Non-Profit Organizations
Our discussion is designed for nonprofits of all sizes; well tackle such topics as the basic principles of advocacy, how to protect your 501c3 status, the dos and donts of advocacy, how to deliver your message to decision makers, and what does a 501(h) Election status really mean? We invite you to come and learn about current Advocacy activities taking place in our State coordinated by Florida CHAIN.
Guest Speakers: Debbie Mason, President, Strategists, Inc.
Andrew Leone, State Organizer, Florida CHAIN (Community Health Action Information Network)
Location: Girls Scouts Conference Center
5002 West Lemon Street
Tampa , FL 33679
From I-275 take the Westshore exit; go north; turn left onto Cypress Road ; go one block to Occident Road ; turn left to the end of the road and follow the curve going right onto West Lemon Street . New Entrance to Lemon Street off I-275 & Westshore: At I-275 ramp continue straight across Westshore Blvd, this street is W. Lemon Street continue driving to 3 Way Stop, turn left continuing on W Lemon Street.
The Conference Center is located about 1/8 mile on the left side of West Lemon Street in the building marked "Girl Scouts of Suncoast Council." Park in the street level ramp and take the elevator to the second floor.
Please invite any colleagues and/or partner organization representatives you feel would benefit from the learning opportunity and introduction to the Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative. We welcome the opportunity to continue to collaborate with others in the community.
Would you like additional information about the Collaborative or this Quarterly Meeting? Please do not hesitate to call or e-mail me!
Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative
(727) 204-9895 / (813) 685-3232
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE EXCITING INFORMATION AND OPPORTUNITIES!!
We are requesting all Collaborative Members to please submit your Organizations logo, contact information and a 1 page description (ie. mission, vision, values, etc.) of your organization to Greg Crist, Interlogic Media (web developer) at gcrist@... for immediate posting to the Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative Website.
Upcoming Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative Committee Meetings:
Advocacy Committee Meeting
9:30 am 11:00 am
Location: American Heart Association
St. Petersburg , FL
Cultural Competency Committee Meeting
10:00 am 11:30 am
Major changes occurring with little attention
By Andrew Leone
July 31, 2006
Medicaid reform, pursued by Gov. Jeb Bush and approved by the Florida Legislature in special session last December, is here amid no discernible fanfare and the apparent lack of interest on the part of the media.
Touted as a way to control Medicaid spending while providing beneficiaries with a wider array of choices in services, reform entails moving users from Medicaid (the health care safety net of last resource for low-income Americans) to private managed care plans.
In its first year, reform will affect over 130,000 Medicaid recipients in Broward County . By 2011, all 1.2 million Medicaid beneficiaries in Florida may be enrolled in managed care plans.
Although the official start date for reform was July 1, media have taken no notice. In Broward, not even articles announcing the installment of Alan Levine (former secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration) as the new CEO of the North Broward Hospital District mention his role as major architect of the reform plan.
To advocates who work on behalf of Medicaid beneficiaries, and to many beneficiaries themselves, this silence is cause for concern. Considering the revolutionary nature of Medicaid reform, one would hope that those charged with implementing it are not making preparations for a possible Category 5 storm of Medicare Part D proportions by hoping the public will just look away.
In passing reform, the Florida Legislature wisely mandated not to expand it beyond the "pilot" counties without prior legislative approval, to be based upon an evaluation. A Medicaid Reform Advocates Coalition, comprising Florida CHAIN and other organizations that work on behalf of Medicaid recipients, has put forth four "core issues" that must be considered integral to the evaluation process.
1. Issues related to quality and quantity of "choice counselors" available to consumers: The first 22,000 mandatory enrollees were to be mailed notices of the choices of managed care plans beginning July 24. From that date, they were to have until Aug. 18 to choose one of 16 HMOs and PSNs in Broward to begin enrollment by Sept. 1. Choice counselors, contracted by AHCA and only recently trained and certified, are entrusted with helping beneficiaries make the right choice of plan. There are 10 field choice counselors in Broward and six in Duval County , in addition to 43 more working from a phone center in Tallahassee . The MRAC is very concerned that the ratio of choice counselors to beneficiaries is inadequate, and that they may lack the depth of information needed to give appropriate advice -- which can mean the difference between proper care and the endangerment of life. The recent GAO report giving low marks to a similar program intended to help Medicare Part D patients only heightens this concern.
2. Outreach to hard to reach populations, i.e. the disabled and the homeless: Choice counseling, choice of plans and all the other potential benefits of reform are of little value if those who will be affected are not reached. Beneficiaries will have 30 days to make a choice or the state will make one for them. Among the issues to consider are those related to the availability of a trusted primary care physician in the new plan, rate of co-payments, breadth and scope of services available and accessibility (many Medicaid recipients have to rely on public transportation when they seek health care). A substantial percentage of Medicaid recipients are disabled and need -- or rather, are entitled by law to -- alternative means of communications such as large print, audio and closed-captioning. Many more are homeless and do not retrieve their mail from the agencies that provide them with that service on a regular basis. Still more are unable to comprehend the content of the notices they receive for reasons ranging from mental illness to a low level of education. MRAC is concerned that close attention is paid to the effectiveness of contracted marketing and outreach companies entrusted with reaching the Medicaid consumer market.
3. Managed care caps and how they will affect services: Managed care companies, as businesses, are concerned with profit. For insurance companies, margins of profits are increased when the populations they cover are generally healthy and require little care. But in cases pertaining to HIV/AIDS and blood disorder patients -- both groups affected by reform -- costs of care quickly reach the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Health care for the most vulnerable should not be beholden to a bottom line. MRAC is concerned that coverage caps do not result in coverage gaps for those whose lives depend on consistent care.
4. The re-establishment of the mandated Medical Care Advisory Committee: Years ago, the federal government mandated that AHCA install a Medical Care Advisory Committee, comprising a variety of stakeholders in health care to provide a sounding board on issues related to health care policy. Though mandated, the advisory committee has not met since 2000. A true "place at the table" for consumers and the advocates that protect their interest is essential in the evaluation of Medicaid reform. MRAC believes that the Medical Care Advisory Committee should be revived.
Medicaid reform will ultimately succeed or fail on its own merits. But those who rely on Medicaid for their health care and survival should be afforded the opportunity to participate in the process.
Andrew Leone is state organizer with Florida CHAIN (Community Health Action Information Network).
Copyright © 2006, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Childrens Program Manager
For more information please contact:
Executive Assistant to the President
1112 E. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33602
813-874-2020 x 103
FLORIDA KIDCARE UPDATE
KidCare Studied for Administrative Streamlining
The Florida Senate will take a close look at the KidCare program this summer with hopes to make some significant changes to the childrens health care program during the 2007 legislative session.
One study will focus on KidCare enrollment policies and a second one will look into organizational streamlining and administrative simplification.
Sens. Durell Peaden (R-Crestview) and Nan Rich (D-Weston) were instrumental in getting these studies on the Senate staffs summertime agenda. Often, the findings in these studies highlight needed changes in program areas and result in legislation the following session.
Covering Kids & Families Back-to-School Campaign
TWO WEEKS and Counting
Topics this week:
1. Event banners now available!
Hosting a Back-to-School event and need help with visibility? Covering Kids & Families banners are available for your Back-to-School events on a first-come, first-served basis. Order yours today by calling your campaign contact.
2. Tell us what youre doing
The launch of the Back-to-School Campaign is just two weeks away and we need your help to reach as many families as possible. Whether youre hosting a health fair, distributing fliers or displaying a poster at your local supermarket, your help makes a difference. Tell us what youre doing today!
3. FREE materials still available
Free materials are still available for your Back-to-School efforts, including fliers, posters, bookmarks, stickers and fans. Order yours today.
4. Week two checklist for media and outreach activities
Visit the online countdown at www.coveringkidsandfamilies.org/actioncenter/checklist to find out what you can do this week to plan for and finalize your outreach and media events.
Need more information? Contact us at (202) 338-7227 or coveringkidsandfamilies@....
The CKF Communications Team
Deficit Reduction Act Technical Assistance Conference Call this Friday, July 28
The Southern Institute on Children and Families, National Program Office (NPO) for the Covering Kids & Families (CKF) Initiative, will hold a technical assistance conference call on Friday, July 28, 2006, on the Medicaid eligibility citizenship and identity verification requirements of the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA). The call will be moderated by Nicole Ravenell, CKF Deputy Director for Policy. Participants will hear from a panel of experts including Judith Solomon from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Linda LeClair, Director for the Bureau of Medicaid Eligibility Operations and Family Health Plus with the New York State Department of Health, a state which has experience requiring proof of citizenship for Medicaid eligibility and Anita Smith, Chief of the Bureau of Medical Supports with the Iowa Department of Human Services, a state which is in the process of developing a process for implementing the citizenship and identity requirements.
Fridays call will begin at 3:30pm EDT and end at 4:30pm EDT. The Southern Institute asks that participants dialing in from the same location use a single line. Dial-in instructions appear below:
· Dial Toll-free (866) 802-4328
· If the operator asks for the Conference Name and/or Conference ID, please respond with the following information: Conference Name: DRA Conference Call; Conference ID: 943358
A recording of the conference call will be made available for those unable to participate on the call, and an announcement will be sent once the recording is available. Please forward this information to your CKF statewide and local project colleagues and others who may benefit from this call. Contact your CKF Regional Coordinator if you have questions.
Monitoring the Effects of the Medicaid Citizenship Documentation Requirement: Getting Monitoring Activities Underway
Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
By monitoring what happens to U.S. citizens as they try to secure the required citizenship and identity documents, we can learn a great deal about strategies that may help relieve the burden on individuals, as well as those that are particularly problematic. Many concerned parties have important roles to play in monitoring the effects of the Medicaid Citizenship Documentation Requirement, and advocates can facilitate the process by coordinating efforts to track and report on the consequences of the new rule. This resource from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities outlines ways in which advocates can monitor the effects of the Medicaid Citizenship Documentation Requirement. Document attached.
Links to Deficit Reduction Act Interim Final Regulations, State Medicaid Director Letters and Preprints
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a series of Dear State Medicaid Director Letters and preprints regarding provisions of the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA). On July 12, 2006, the US Department of Health and Human Services published to the Federal Register interim final regulations with comment for states to implement a new requirement, effective July 1, 2006, that persons applying for Medicaid must document their citizenship. The interim final regulations with comment will amend Medicaid regulations to implement the provision of the Deficit Reduction Act that requires States to obtain satisfactory documentary evidence of an applicant's or recipient's citizenship and identity in order to receive Federal financial participation. The interim final regulations with comment will provide States with guidance on the types of documentary evidence that may be accepted, including alternative forms of documentary evidence in addition to those described in the statute and the conditions under which this documentary evidence can be accepted to establish the applicant's declaration of citizenship. It will also give States guidance on the processes that may be used to help minimize the administrative burden on States, applicants and recipients. The interim final regulations match most of the guidance that was provided to State Medicaid Directors on June 9, 2006. Comments from the public will be accepted through August 11. Download the interim final regulations. http://coveringkidsandfamilies.org/resources/docs/CitizenshipGuideline.pdf
Section 6085 of the DRA created a new section 1932(b)(2)(D) of the Social Security Act. The provision establishes a limit on the amount to be paid to non-contracting providers of emergency services at the amount that would have been paid if the service had been provided under the States FFS Medicaid program. Download the Dear State Medicaid Director Letter issued March 31, 2006, regarding Section 6085. http://www.cms.hhs.gov/smdl/downloads/SMD06010.pdf
The DRA through sections 6041, 6042 and 6043 provides State Medicaid agencies with a new option to impose premiums and cost sharing upon certain Medicaid recipients. These sections of the DRA inserted a new section 1916A in the Social Security Act (the Act) which sets forth options for alternative premiums and cost sharing that are not subject to the limitations under section 1916 of the Act, including cost sharing for non-preferred prescription drugs, and cost sharing for non-emergency use of a hospital emergency room. CMS also provided State plan preprint pages for states to use regarding the adoption of these provisions. Download the Section 6041 Preprint. http://www.cms.hhs.gov/smdl/downloads/6041Preprint.pdf Download the Section 6042 Preprint. http://www.cms.hhs.gov/smdl/downloads/6042Preprint.pdf
Community Health Action Information Network
CHAIN Reaction e-newsletter
Your latest updates on health care news and information
July 27, 2006
As of July 1, many chronically ill Floridians will not have to foot the bill for costly anti-rejection and cancer drugs not included under the new federal Medicare drug program. The state Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) will now cover expensive co-payments for former Medically Needy people who had slightly too much income to qualify for Medicaid. AHCA is now accepting applications. Individuals who believe they might qualify should contact the agency as soon as possible at 1-850/487-4441 to request an evaluation. Read more.
As Florida 's cost-saving Medicaid reform pilot project gets underway, the state is spending $12 million on counselors who will help consumers choose health care plans. Florida signed a two-year contract to provide a toll-free number where choice counselors will help Medicaid consumers select their health care plan. The hotline is already in place for consumers in Broward and Duval counties, the two test sites for the Medicaid reform project. There is concern among advocates and consumers about the inadequate number of choice counselors which include 43 at a call center in Tallahassee , 10 field workers in Broward, and 6 field workers in Duval. In addition, if state officials want to make Medicaid reform a success, it is imperative that choice counselors provide accurate information to beneficiaries and learn from the lessons of the Medicaid Part D debacle. Read more.
The Florida Senate will take a cl
(Message over 64 KB, truncated)