Medicaid Expansion, Payer Oversight Seen as Vital to Healthcare Reform

Christopher Cheney, for HealthLeaders Media , March 25, 2014

Devising health insurance access mechanisms such as the PPACA exchanges is only the first battle in a lengthy US healthcare reform campaign, he said. "Once we create a structure that enables people to get insurance, we're going to have to embark on a long-term process" to educate consumers, Blumenthal added.

So far, 24 states have opted not to expand Medicaid, according to the Commonwealth Fund. New Hampshire is expected adopt a modified form of Medicaid expansion this week, with federal Medicaid dollars set to be used to subsidize the purchase of health insurance on the PPACA exchange.

The Granite State's proposed Medicaid expansion, a bipartisan approach crafted in the state Senate, simplifies the enrollment process for beneficiaries, State Senator Nancy Stiles (R-Hampton), said in an interview Monday. Offering health insurance to Medicaid expansion enrollees on the exchange avoids people having "to switch from place to place" to get coverage, she said.

But Schoen believes the biggest boost to providers could come from creating a healthcare system that does not segregate patients based on their ability to pay. "It would be a new day in America if doctors didn't have to look at someone's wallet before providing care," she said.

Christopher Cheney is the senior finance editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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