Tag Archives: Medicaid

What are the risks and considerations of Medicaid block grants?

In September 2019, the State of Tennessee, Division of Tenncare, released a draft version of Amendment 42 to its Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver, “Tenncare II Demonstration.” With the exception of pharmacy and certain waiver services, the vast majority of Tennessee’s Medicaid program services are funded under this Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver authority. Amendment 42 makes Tennessee the first state to take concrete steps to engage the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in a proposed block grant funding methodology.

A block grant funding arrangement is attractive from a federal financing perspective because it establishes an authorized level of spending, creating an incentive for states to better control costs. States could also find this structure attractive because it includes a savings component if efficient management of the program produces costs below the authorized spending levels.

This paper by Milliman’s Jeremy Cunningham and Mat DeLillo discusses the risks and considerations of changing Medicaid’s funding formula to a general block grant structure.

Medicaid managed care financial results for 2018

The latest Medicaid managed care financial results report by Milliman consultants Jeremy Palmer, Chris Pettit, and Ian McCulla summarizes the calendar year 2018 experience for selected metrics of organizations reporting Medicaid experience under the Title XIX Medicaid line of business on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners annual statement. The primary purpose of this report is to provide reference and benchmarking information for certain key financial metrics used in the day-to-day analysis of Medicaid managed care organization financial performance.

For more perspective from the authors, watch the webinar entitled “Medicaid Managed Care Financials: Evaluating Recent MCO Performance and Trends Using Annual Statements.”

Milliman Webinar: Seven key challenges for Medicaid states considering alternative payment models

There are a variety of reasons why alternative payment models (APMs) can be more difficult to implement and manage in Medicaid, compared to the commercial or Medicare markets. Understanding these nuances and building strategies to address them is critical to the success of Medicaid APMs. An upcoming Milliman webinar hosted by Anders Larson, Rebecca Johnson, and Zach Hunt will focus on the challenges Medicaid payers face when attempting to establish APMs with providers. The webinar is based on their coauthored paper “Seven key challenges for Medicaid states considering alternative payment models.”

Title: Seven key challenges for Medicaid states considering alternative payment models
Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Time: 2:00 p.m. EST

To register, click here.

How can Medicaid states considering alternative payment models address challenges?

While the use of alternative payment models (APMs) in the Medicare and commercial markets is prevalent, the use of APMs in the Medicaid market is low. There are several reasons why these models are more difficult to implement in Medicaid. Understanding the nuances of Medicaid APMs and building strategies to address them is critical to their success.

In this paper, Milliman’s Anders Larson, Rebecca Johnson, and Zach Hunt discuss seven key challenges that Medicaid payers face when trying to establish APMs with providers. The paper specifically focuses on shared savings/risk contracts based on total cost of care (TCOC) models. The following excerpt provides some perspective.

One challenge with any total cost of care model is that providers inherently take on some level of insurance risk due to random claims fluctuation that can influence results. This is true in the Medicare ACO models, which is why CMS uses a minimum savings rate (MSR) that varies by population size to limit its payments for “false positives.” This is likely to be more pronounced in Medicaid because of challenges with attribution, beneficiaries moving in and out of Medicaid, and a higher prevalence of zero-dollar claimants.

Critical Point explores Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program after Hurricane Maria

Managing Medicaid in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria was part of Jose Carlo’s job, but it was also personal for the Milliman consultant because he was born and raised on the island. This episode of Critical Point focuses on how Jose and his colleagues worked with the Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration in the wake of the devastating hurricanes last year.

To listen to this episode of Critical Point, click here.

Changes to Institutions of Mental Disease in Medicaid under the SUPPORT Act

In October 2018, President Trump signed the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT Act) to address the ongoing opioid epidemic. For state Medicaid programs, one key impact is the availability of substance use disorder (SUD) treatments through Institutions of Mental Disease (IMD) facilities where Medicaid recipients have been historically unable to receive care that qualifies for federal matching funds. The SUPPORT Act provides a simpler way for states to include IMD facilities in their fee-for-service and managed care delivery models—a state plan amendment (SPA).

With the expansion of options under the SUPPORT Act, states will need to consider whether or not their goals for treating SUD patients in IMDs can be achieved under the simpler SPA process with its inherent limitations from the SUPPORT Act or if the more complicated but more flexible waiver process remains their best option.

In this paper, Milliman’s Christopher Kunkel, Catherine Lewis, and Jie Savage explain the changes to IMDs in Medicaid under the SUPPORT Act.