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In the News

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As you have heard, registration is open for the 2015 RCPA Conference at Seven Springs, October 6 – 9. We hope you have plans to join us; the schedule is filled with excellent speakers.  We also know that you are being asked to register and pay for the conference at a time when many are feeling the tremendous negative impact of the delayed state budget.

For this reason, RCPA is offering full provider members the opportunity to register for the conference now and defer payment until after the state budget is passed, or an interim stopgap measure is in place (an emergency solution for which we continue to push). All attendees from full provider members are eligible for this offer.

To take advantage of this conference payment deferral offer, please complete a print version of the conference registration form. Do not register electronically through the online system, which requires payment to be collected. Rather, print and complete the form, noting your request for this deferral, and send it to Tieanna Lloyd in the RCPA office via fax to 717-364-3287 or email. RCPA will then invoice members 90 days after the budget is approved or a stopgap measure is in place to allow time for cash flow to stabilize.

We look forward to seeing you in October!

On May 29, the Department of Human Services released a request for information (RFI) to help guide the department’s planning process for the release of a new procurement for the provision of managed care services for physical health. RCPA submitted comments and recommendations to the department in response to the RFI. Secretary Dallas has worked to be transparent during this process and has published a summary of some of the most frequently provided comments in the responses to the RFI. He has also identified some of the changes that the department is considering for the new HealthChoices physical health managed care procurement. This list is not intended to be final and merely reflects some of the ideas that are being considered at this time. Because many of the comments and related action plans communicated by Secretary Dallas address integrated physical and behavioral health care, data and information sharing, service system simplification, and other initiatives that have implications for RCPA members, this interim report is being shared at this time. Please submit any additional comments on the concepts included in this summary, or an area that is not listed in the document, via email by August 10.

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Below is the RFI to which RCPA submitted comments, which can be seen here.


From: DHS STAKEHOLDERS On Behalf Of HS, Secretary’s Office
Sent: Friday, May 29, 2015 2:38 PM
Subject: [DHS-STAKEHOLDERS] HealthChoices RFI Issued

Dear Stakeholders:

Today the Department of Human Services (DHS) is releasing a Request for Information (RFI) and we want your input. We are soliciting information that will assist with the development of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a HealthChoices Physical Health services procurement. The overall goal of which is to explore new innovative approaches to the delivery and payment of health care services that reward quality and increase access within the Medicaid program.

HealthChoices is the name of Pennsylvania’s managed care programs for Medical Assistance (MA) recipients. Through Managed Care Organizations (MCO), recipients receive quality medical care and timely access to all appropriate physical health services, whether the services are delivered on an inpatient or outpatient basis. DHS has three simple goals for HealthChoices:  improve access to health care services for MA recipients, improve the quality of health care available to MA recipients, and stabilize our MA spending.

As DHS looks to make improvements to Pennsylvania’s HealthChoices program, we are interested in ideas and approaches we should consider to accomplish the following:

  • Promote the achievement of the Triple AIM (better health, better care, lower cost)
  • Improve care coordination between physical and behavioral health services
  • Promote the expansion of value based purchasing of health care services
  • Promote the expansion of team based approaches to care delivery (for example- patient centered care medical homes)
  • Promote community based public health initiatives
  • Increase consumer access to needed services, especially in rural and underserved areas of the Commonwealth
  • Improve the efficiency of the HealthChoices program
  • Improve the provider experience with the HealthChoices program

I encourage you to provide feedback by close of business on June 26, 2015. Please submit your responses electronically to RA-PWHCRFIResponses@pa.gov, and thank you, in advance, for taking the time to provide your valuable input.

With your unique perspectives and input, we look forward to improving a system that provides quality services for our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians.

The RFI is available at www.emarketplace.state.pa.us/Solicitations.aspx?SID=DHS%20HC%20RFI%202015.

 

Sincerely,

Ted Dallas
Acting Secretary
Department of Human Services

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On June 30 the American College of Physicians issued a position paper calling for better integration of behavioral health into primary care; The Integration of Care for Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Other Behavioral Health Conditions into Primary Care: American College of Physicians Position Paper. It provides an environmental scan of the current state of conditions included in the concept of behavioral health, and examines the arguments for and barriers to increased integration into primary care. It also examines various approaches of integrated care delivery and offers a series of policy recommendations that are based on the reviewed information and evidence to inform the actions of the American College of Physicians and its members regarding advocacy, research, and practice. A summary of the paper is in today’s Annals of Internal Medicine online edition.

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The Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office (MMCO), in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is dedicated to ensuring that beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid have access to seamless, high-quality health care, that includes the full range of covered services in both programs. MMCO recently shared an array of tools and resources on integrated health care. This office works with the Medicare and Medicaid programs, federal agencies, states, and other stakeholders, to align and coordinate benefits between the two programs effectively and efficiently, ultimately improving the way Medicare-Medicaid enrollees receive health care.

What is Integrating Primary Care Services into Behavioral Health Settings?

  • Within the context of primary care and behavioral health care, full integration exists when all care providers work together to address the primary care and behavioral health needs of individuals in the same setting.
  • There are several integration levels; some organizations may introduce elements of primary care into their practices, or decide to develop a fully integrated system without going through any of the other levels.

Why Integrate Primary Care Services into Behavioral Health Organizations?

  • Organizations that move along the integration continuum may be able to improve the care they provide to their consumers while increasing the efficiency of care delivery.
  • Organizations that adopt some of these strategies may also benefit from such increased efficiencies, which may translate into reduced health spending for specific target populations.

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