The Department of Human Services (DHS) has released a concept paper on Community HealthChoices. They are requesting comments on this concept paper due October 16. Links are below for more information.
To help the community understand the concept paper and issues related to it, October 5 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., David Gates Esq., Managing Attorney-Harrisburg, PA Health Law Project, Linda Anthony, Communication and Advocacy Specialist, Disability Rights Network and Kristin Ahrens, Policy Director, Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, will do an overview and analysis of the concept paper just released by DHS on its plan for a managed care service model called “Community HealthChoices” (formerly Managed Long Term Services and Supports). We will talk about how Community Health Choices can be designed to offer the best person driven options. We will also share the recommendations that the Person Driven Services and Supports (PDSS) Coalition will be submitting to DHS.
There will be host sites throughout the state or you can participate from your personal computer. The public is invited to join in and be informed.
Click here to register for the Public Forum.
Click here to submit comments to DHS.
Click here to read the concept paper that will be discussed.
Click here for PDSS’s resource page and different positions on the issue.
Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Ted Dallas today announced two major steps in the Department's effort to spur innovation and better care in Medicaid. Governor Tom Wolf launched Pennsylvania's Medicaid expansion plan in April 2015. Since the launch, more than 200,000 new Pennsylvanians have enrolled in HealthChoices, which now provides health care coverage to more Pennsylvanians than ever before.
"When fully implemented, these new changes will mark the most significant changes to Medicaid in Pennsylvania since the Department first moved to mandatory managed care 18 years ago," said Secretary Dallas. "We must continue to innovate and move forward if we are going to provide the high-quality health care that all Pennsylvanians deserve. As the biggest insurance payor in the commonwealth, our hope is that these changes will encourage innovation in the private sector as well."
First, DHS issued a request for proposals (RFP) for physical health services provided through HealthChoices, Pennsylvania'smandatory Medicaid managed care program since 1997.
"If you pay for services, you will get services. If you pay for outcomes, you will get outcomes," said Dallas. "When awarded, the contracts will require the managed care organizations (MCOs) to increase the amount of money they spend on contracts that reward value, care coordination, and better health outcomes rather than simply paying for services as they are provided. The result will be a system that focuses more on the patient as a whole and provides higher quality care to those in the Medicaid system."
To drive Pennsylvania's Medicaid system towards these better outcomes, the new contracts will set targets for all contracted MCOs to increase the percentage of value-based or outcome-based contracts they have with hospitals, doctors, and other providers to 30 percent of medical funds they receive from DHS within three years. The result will be that billions of dollars will be invested in options such as:
Second, DHS, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, released a more detailed concept paper outlining its vision for Community HealthChoices (CHC), Governor Tom Wolf's managed long-term services and supports program to support older individuals and adults with physical disabilities (click here for the release regarding the concept paper). The plan is an integrated system of physical health and long-term services and supports (LTSS) which focuses on improving health outcomes and allowing individuals to live safe and healthy lives with as much independence as possible.
CHC is a significant shift from the commonwealth's current, fractured approach to providing these services and will enhance care for seniors and persons with disabilities through better coordination of care. The result will be that more Pennsylvanians will be served in the community instead of in nursing homes or other facilities.
CHC will support individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, older adults and adults with physical disabilities in the most integrated settings possible. CHC will serve an estimated 450,000 individuals, including 130,000 older persons and adults with physical disabilities who are currently receiving LTSS in the community and in nursing facilities.
HealthChoices delivers quality medical care and timely access to all appropriate services to 2.5 million children, individuals with disabilities, pregnant women, and low-income Pennsylvanians.
For more information on Community HealthChoices, visit www.dhs.state.pa.us. The RFP can be found here.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services' Nancy Thaler Honored with Two Prestigious National Awards
Secretary of the Department of Human Services (DHS) Ted Dallas announced that Deputy Secretary of the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) Nancy Thaler was honored with two prominent awards at The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities' (NASUAD) National Home and Community Based Services Conference today in Washington, DC.
"Nancy is a champion for individuals with disabilities in Pennsylvania and across the nation," said Secretary Dallas. "We are fortunate to have a leader of her caliber here in Pennsylvania and look forward to difference she will make in the lives of thousands of individuals living with disabilities. I consider myself lucky to be her colleague and to count her as a friend."
Thaler received an Administrator Citation Award from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in recognition and appreciation for her leadership, performance, and dedication to public service and the programs of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. She also was honored with the Katie Beckett Award from NASUAD, which recognizes tireless advocacy and tenacity in supporting persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Last year former First Lady Rosalynn Carter received the Katie Beckett Award.
Before beginning her current position in June, Thaler was executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services. She served the commonwealth in the Department of Public Welfare (now DHS) 1986-2003, first as director of the Bureau of Community Programs, then as deputy secretary for what is now ODP, overseeing 4,000 employees and a$2 billion budget.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Human Services