LTC Bullet: Transforming Medicaid and LTC
September 28, 2005
Comment: What's Newt Gingrich up to
now and how does it affect Medicaid and long-term care? More after the ***news.***
LEGISLATIVE LONG-TERM CARE ACADEMY OF 2005:
Kansas House Appropriations Committee Chairman Melvin Neufeld and Center
for Long-Term Care Reform President Stephen Moses will join other Kansas state
Senators and Representatives to present policy briefings on long-term care in
three Sunflower State cities this week. Long-term
care is expected to be an important agenda item for the state legislature this
coming year. LTC benefits currently
account for almost 50 percent of Kansas' Medicaid costs, and long-term care
costs are projected to grow. Neufeld
and Moses will discuss the role that long-term care plays in Kansas' health care
crisis, its impact on the state budget and delivery of state services, possible
reform solutions and additional related topics as a part of the Legislative
Long-Term Care Academy sponsored by the Kansas Health Care Association (KHCA)
and co-sponsored by the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy.
Stay tuned for more from the LTC policy front in Kansas later this week.
BULLET: TRANSFORMING MEDICAID AND
Comment: Following is a press
release summarizing the outcome of an invitation-only event sponsored by Newt
Gingrich's Center for Health Transformation.
bring it to your attention because each of the major speakers--including
Governor Mark Warner of Virginia, Senator Mel Martinez of Florida, and Chairman
Nathan Deal of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Health
Sub-Committee--emphasized the importance of stopping Medicaid planning abuse and
encouraging private financing of long-term care.
Frogue, the Center for Health Transformation's State Project Director, emceed
the event. You can watch the
webcast at www.healthtransformation.net
Leaders Agree that Hurricane Katrina Underscores Need for Medicaid
Megan Meehan, 202-375-2063
For Immediate Release: September 21, 2005
- A bipartisan group of leaders agreed yesterday that the devastation left by
Hurricane Katrina presents an opportunity to transform America's broken Medicaid
system into one which will better serve the needs of those who depend on it.
have witnessed the total collapse of our inherited systems of paper and
bureaucracy...In Katrina, this country saw sitting city, state and federal
government systems fail," said former Speaker Newt Gingrich at a Medicaid
summit hosted by Gingrich's Center for Health Transformation. "Katrina
could become the impetus to have one of the most creative Congresses and
Administrations in history - if we look at this tragedy as an opportunity for
leaders from across the country attended Tuesday's event, "Creating a 21st
Century Medicaid System." Speakers included CMS Administrator Dr. Mark
McClellan, Governors Mark Warner (D-VA) and Mike Huckabee (R-AR), Senator Mel
Martinez (R-FL) and Congressman Nathan Deal (R-GA).
summit revealed that the tragic impact of Katrina is inspiring government
leaders to create new approaches to a Medicaid system that experts say is on an
unsustainable trajectory in terms of both cost and quality of care.
McClellan spoke in detail about the broad success of community-based health
support systems that have been brought in to aid Katrina victims, and called for
rapid recovery to help strengthen the collapsed health infrastructure in
affected states. McClellan noted
that there is now "tremendous potential to rebuild a better healthcare
system, [including] taking new approaches to Medicaid."
Martinez said, "the recent crisis has highlighted the problems faced by the
most vulnerable in our population." Governor Warner concurred, expressing
his hope for swift congressional action with appropriate Medicaid relief for
hurricane victims and noting that the segments of society hardest hit by the
hurricane cannot be cared for without addressing the issue of healthcare.
The Governor also spoke about the need to empower states and make
Medicaid more accountable to both beneficiaries and taxpayers: "Unless we
get our arms around Medicaid, Medicaid will bankrupt every state by 2020."
agreed that Medicaid reform should embrace the tenets of responsibility, choice,
access and quality. There was also
wide support for prompt infusion of life- and money-saving health information
technology into Medicaid. "Medicaid must embrace electronic health
records," said Senator Martinez, stressing that continuity of care for
Katrina victims would not have been disrupted had a comprehensive electronic
health records system existed. During his speech, Governor Warner proposed that
healthcare providers be encouraged with incentives to adopt health IT.
the issue of future epic natural disasters or major terrorist attacks and/or
biological pandemics, Speaker Gingrich challenged the United States in a
call-to-action: "Every American should have an electronic health record by
January of 2006." Anticipating critics who fault cost as the biggest
barrier to health IT implementation, Speaker Gingrich posed a question:
"After Katrina, how much will it cost the federal government to reconstruct
the destroyed medical histories of Gulf residents?"
the Medicaid and Katrina action items, Tuesday's event also served as the
official launch of the Center for Health Transformation's Medicaid
Transformation Project. The Project is charged with the mission to create a 21st
Century Responsible Citizen Medicaid Act which will provide better outcomes,
save money and eliminate health disparities among America's minorities.
Center seeks to transform the administration of Medicaid to an entrepreneurial
culture that embraces innovation, emphasizes results over process and focuses on
health rather than just healthcare. Goals of the Medicaid Transformation Project
include eliminating racial and socio-economic health disparities, making the
individual the center of health decision-making and giving governors greater
decision-making authority, oversight and responsibility for their Medicaid
downloadable webcast of "Creating a 21st Century Medicaid System," is
available at the Center for Health Transformation's website: www.healthtransformation.net.
Supplemental materials from the event are also available. For more
information on the Center's Medicaid Transformation Project, please contact
Project Director Jim Frogue: firstname.lastname@example.org.
the Center for Health Transformation
The Center for Health Transformation, founded by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, is a collaboration of leaders dedicated to the creation of a 21st Century Intelligent Health System that saves lives and saves money for every American. For more information, visit www.healthtransformation.net.