Bob Berenson, Visiting Scholar and Senior Advisor for Value Initiatives at Families USA, and Alan Lazaroff, American Geriatrics Society, explain in this Health Affairs blog that The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ proposed rule that makes changes to the Medicare physician fee schedule would worsen payment incentives for clinicians, compromising the quality of care and increasing costs for seniors.
Nobody wants a root canal, but millions of Americans with mouth pain know it might be their best shot at protecting a tooth and stopping an infection from spreading—if they can afford it. Oral health affects all health and too many people in this country cannot access care. That’s why the Senate is considering the Action for Dental Health Act. But this measure should be the first appointment on our nation’s oral health checkup.
In July, Families USA joined the American Dental Association, Oral Health America, Center for Medicare Advocacy, Justice in Aging, DentaQuest Foundation, Santa Fe Group and other industry leaders, in releasing An Oral Health Benefit in Medicare Part B: It’s Time to Include Oral Health in Health Care, a white paper on the need for Medicare to include dental coverage.
We would like to share just one story about how a Medicare oral health benefit could change someone’s life. Cheryl in Olympia, Washington, has gone nearly 10 years without comprehensive oral health care.
Mississippi has submitted a revision of its Medicaid waiver now up for federal comment. This revised waiver would allow affected parents to retain Medicaid for up to 24 months of “transitional medical assistance” for each month that they comply with the work requirement and its associated documentation.
Federal administrators are hoping to re-approve Kentucky’s Medicaid 1115 waiver, Kentucky HEALTH, after it was recently blocked in federal court. In response to the court ruling, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is once again collecting comments on the waiver. This is an enormous opportunity for advocates to weigh in.
Comments Matter and Can Influence Approvals, Court Decisions
Those hottest days of summer have arrived, which means that it's finally the season of congressional recess. The House began its August recess this week and will return to Washington on September 4th. The Senate is taking a truncated August recess this year, coming home the week of August 6-10th. It will be in session for the remainder of the month.
Most everybody remembers the dramatic middle of the night vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act on July 28 of last year, punctuated by Senator John McCain’s thumbs-down on the Senate floor. A focus only on that much-televised vote overlooks the significance of what actually happened in last summer’s failed effort by President Trump and his Republican allies to repeal the health law. The vote on July 28 was actually the third and least substantive of three bills repealing the ACA to lose in the Senate last year.
The first and more telling vote took place one year ago today, on July 25. The key vote involved the final version of the detailed bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” or BCRA.
There has been an important and ongoing effort over the past decade to address the manifest failures of our health care system by changing payment and provider organization to reward value and not volume. But transformation efforts largely ignore one of our system’s most fundamental problems: persistent, extensive, severe, and costly health and health care inequities based on race, ethnicity, and geography, among other factors.