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MEDICAID REFORM & COST CONTAINMENT

Mental Health Drugs and The PDL an Opportunity to Increase Quality of Care and Save Money at the Same Time!
One of the major cost drivers for Medicaid is prescription medications, and the cost burden of mental health medications is increasing at a rate that far outstrips other classes of meds. Since Utah’s Preferred Drug List (PDL) was implemented in FY2008, the program has saved the state millions of dollars—$16,647,572 in FY2009 alone.  However, because Utah does not include mental health medications on its PDL, the state is leaving nearly half of the potential savings on the table. (Read more...)

Utah Takes a Pass on Critical ACA Cost Containment/Wellness Opportunity
To further the cost/quality/access goals of health reform, the Affordable Care Act created numerous opportunities for states in the form of grants. Utah has taken advantage of some of these grants—though, surprisingly, not enough of those designed to contain costs and improve quality of care.  (Read more...)

 
ON THE FEDERAL FRONT

Dispatch from Denver: HHS/CMS Listening Session on Regulations for the New Exchanges
As the mechanism for facilitating access to quality, affordable, private health insurance, Exchanges are a core element of the federal health reform law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The federal government is asking for comments on the proposed regulations for Exchanges by September 28, 2011. To help stakeholders prepare their comments, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is holding invitation-only Listening Sessions around the country. The session for Regions 7 and 8 was held Wednesday, Aug 24 in Denver. (Read more...)

 
ON THE STATE FRONT

Making Health Insurance Affordable: Installment #2 of our Cost Containment Series
UHPP is pleased to announce the release of our 2ndbrief in our cost containment series: “Affordable Health Care: the Only Way to Avoid a Mandate.” (Last month’s Health Matters introduced the first installment in theseries, “We’ll Show You Cost Containment!”–detailing the 35+ cost containment opportunities in the Affordable Care Act.) (Read more...)

Health Exchange Regulations and Utah’s Health Exchange
Health and Human Services released a flurry of proposed regulations over the last month for health insurance exchanges (see our article about HHS’s listening sessionheld last week).   You can read about (and get a copy of) the regulations at http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/index.html. (Read more...)


ANNOUNCEMENTS

New UHPP Issue Briefs: 

Affordable Health Care: the Only Way to Avoid a Mandate   NEW UHPP POLICY BRIEF!
Proceed, but with Caution: Maximize Savings on Preferred Drug List by Including Mental Health Drugs   NEW UHPP POLICY BRIEF!
Federal Health Provisions 2010-2014: Updated Table with Details about Utah Implementation efforts. NEW UHPP POLICY BRIEF!

Upcoming Meetings: 
  • Utah Medicaid Partnership (UMP)
    Tuesday September 20, 10:00-11:20
    This meeting will focus on UMP’s state priorities for the 2012 Utah Legislative Session. Bring your funding and policy priorities!
     
  • U-SHARE
    Tuesday, September 20, 11:30-1:30
    This meeting will focus on priorities for the 2012 Utah Legislative Session. Bring your funding and policy priorities!
    This will be a strategy and planning meeting. Come ready to hammer out our strategic plan. Bring your lunch!  
     
  • Monthly Meeting + Special MyCase Training in September!
    Tuesday September 27 2:00-3:30 pm 
    (Get the Minutes from August 3, 2011 here.)
    READ MORE ABOUT THE SPECIAL MYCASE TRAINING HERE


UHPP is Hiring!
Read more about our hiring announcements HERE.

Now Hiring: Community Engagement Director
Now Hiring: Enrollment Specialist for Take Care Utah

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