Over the past several months, the Health Policy Institute has updated or created several online resource pages to enable policymakers to better understand important health policy issues. For specific health policy topics that are gaining statewide or ...

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Ohio Health Policy News 05/27/2017

HPIO online resource pages provide tools for key health policy topics

Over the past several months, the Health Policy Institute has updated or created several online resource pages to enable policymakers to better understand important health policy issues.

For specific health policy topics that are gaining statewide or national attention, HPIO gathers relevant resources from a variety of sources so that policymakers and those who influence them have a single source for credible information on the issue. 

The new resource pages include:

  • Guide to improving health value: HPIO’s 2017 Health Value Dashboard finds that Ohio ranks 46 out of 50 states and D.C. on health value, a composite measure of population health outcomes and healthcare spending. This resource page provides information about where to find evidence-informed strategies proven to address many of the challenges identified in the Dashboard.
  • Intersections between education and health: Health and education are areas of significant focus for Ohio policymakers, representing the largest shares of Ohio’s biennial budget for state fiscal years (SFY) 2016-2017. With support from the United Way of Central Ohio, HPIO has started to explore the intersections of education and health. The resource page on the topic will be updated throughout the year.
  • Ohio Medicaid resources: Medicaid pays for medically necessary healthcare services for more three million Ohioans.  As a healthcare payer for one in four Ohioans, Medicaid is an important driver of payment reform and quality measurement initiatives in the healthcare system. The newly updated resource page includes primers, literature reviews and other resources from both Ohio and national sources.

Ohio U.S. Senators back bill expanding treatment options for babies born addicted

Ohio’s two U.S. senators are introducing a bill aimed at helping newborns born addicted recover in a supportive setting (Source: “Ohio lawmakers reintroduce bill aimed at treating babies born addicted,” Columbus Dispatch, May 18, 2017).

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Repubican Sen. Rob Portman, along with Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. and Angus King, I-Maine, have reintroduced a bill that would allow Medicaid to cover pediatric drug addiction recovery services in both hospitals and residential pediatric recovery facilities.

The bill - which sponsors say will lower Medicaid costs - would allow babies suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome - or withdrawal - to receive care in residential facilities. The syndrome is a withdrawal condition often caused by use of opioids and other addictive substances in pregnant women.

In the House, Reps. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, Mike Turner, R-Dayton and Reps. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., and Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., have introduced a companion bill. Among the facilities currently treating babies born with withdrawal is Brigid’s Path, in Dayton.

Traditionally, babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome have been treated in the neonatal intensive care unit, where treatment costs are more than five times the cost of treating other newborns. The lawmakers say that the NICU — with its bright lights and loud noises — is not the ideal place for babies suffering from withdrawal. Residential pediatric recovery facilities, they argue, offer an alternative more conducive to treating newborns with the syndrome.


Ohio ranks 35th in senior health, new study finds

A new study ranked Ohio 35th in the nation for its overall senior health (Source: Ohio ranks 35th in senior care, new study finds,” Crains Cleveland Busines, May 16, 2017)

According to a recently released report from America’s Health Rankings, which is published by United Health Foundation, many of the state's strengths are in clinical care, while the health challenges facing Ohio's seniors are behaviors and lifestyle choices.

The overall 35th ranking is an improvement from the 2016 report, which put Ohio at No. 38. But for three years prior, the report ranked Ohio 30th.


Analysis estimates AHCA would cut $43 bilion in Medicaid funds for children

The American Health Care Act, which passed the U.S. House earlier this month, would result in a cut of $43 billion over 10 years in funding for Medicaid coverage of children, according to a new study (Source: “Study: House ObamaCare repeal bill cuts $43B in Medicaid funds for children,” The Hill, May 18, 2017).

The study from the consulting firm Avalere finds that the cuts to coverage for non-disabled children would come as a result of a new cap on Medicaid payments that the bill would impose, known as a per capita cap. 

“Over time, per capita caps could significantly reduce the amount of funding that goes towards Medicaid coverage for children,” Dan Mendelson, president of Avalere, said in a statement. “While local control and more efficient operation of Medicaid programs are laudable goals, coverage and access for low income children are ultimately dictated by federal funding, and reductions of this magnitude could disrupt access.” 

Republicans argue that the cap in the bill is necessary to get a hold on what they view as unsustainably high federal spending on Medicaid. 


Kasich continues push for long-term care payment reform

State officials yesterday released a database of Ohio’s 929 long-term care facilities as part of Gov. Kasich’s push to pay nursing homes based on quality standards. (Source: “State releases nursing home database in push for tighter regs,” Columbus Dispatch, May 12, 2017)

Kasich’s proposal was pulled out of the two-year budget last week by the Ohio House, which pushed managed-care reforms back to 2021. But the governor hopes to persuade the Senate to reinsert his proposal.

Kasich advocates for a managed-care system in which nursing homes would be paid more if they provide higher-quality service, while homes providing lower-quality service would be paid less. The administration says that some nursing homes “underperform on critical quality measures in part because the current reimbursement system does not financially reward high quality or quality improvement.”

A separate report released this week by the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University showed that Ohio ranked below the national average on all 10 quality measures used to evaluate nursing homes by the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.


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