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Medicaid managed care program remains controversial

August 21, 2017, Daily Journal, Bobby Harrison- Controversy has swirled around the state’s efforts to control cost in its Medicaid program through a managed program almost since its inception.In 2013, about 22 percent of the state’s Medicaid recipients were enrolled in a managed care program where an insurance provider receives a set fee to provide medical services regardless of how costly those services are. Now, according to the Division of Medicaid, officials say approximately 70 percent of the around 709,000 enrolled in the Medicaid are in a managed care program.

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Getting People to Enroll in Health Plans While Trump Attacks Them

August 20, 2017, The New York Times, Abby Goodnough- Sharon Barker isn’t used to recruiting new health insurance customers in deepest summer, long before the enrollment season for the Affordable Care Act. But this year, everything is different.
Despite surviving Republican efforts to repeal it, the law known as Obamacare remains vulnerable. President Trump has repeatedly threatened to end billions of dollars in payments to insurance companies, but his administration decided this week to continue them for another month.

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Panel creates first-ever health care standard for gay, bisexual men

August 19, 2017, The Clarion-Ledger- When it comes to the health of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, the absence of a national standard of care leaves a critical gap for a population already at risk for sexually transmitted diseases and related health disparities. A blue-ribbon panel of national public health professionals, co-chaired by a University of Mississippi Medical Center professor, is changing that scenario. They’ve created a multi-faceted standard of care for men who have sex with men, or MSM, in their quest to advance effective STD prevention programs and services in every community in the country.

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Too Few Patients Follow The Adage: You Better Shop Around

August 18, 2017, Kaiser Health News, Michelle Andrews- Despite having more financial “skin in the game” than ever, many consumers don’t make any attempt to compare prices for health care services, a newly released study found. In a survey of nearly 3,000 adults younger than 65, about half of the roughly 1,900 who said they spent money on medical care in the previous year reported that they knew in advance what their costs would be. Of those who didn’t anticipate how much they would owe before receiving care, only 13 percent said they tried to predict their out-of-pocket expenses. An even smaller proportion, 3 percent, compared prices from multiple providers ahead of time.

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Is Mississippi’s managed health care being mismanaged?

August 17, 2017, Mississippi Today, Larrison Campbell-  The Division of Medicaid awarded $1.4 billion dollars in new contracts to its two managed care companies in June, months after an independent report had determined that the companies were failing to deliver on their current contracts. The 73-page report, commissioned by the Legislature in 2016, found that United Healthcare and Magnolia Health had fallen short on several required performance measures. It also determined that Medicaid had failed to oversee the companies or hold them accountable, even as United and Magnolia continued to defy the rules in their contracts.

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Mississippi Medicaid Chief Denies Contractor Offered Him Job

August 16, 2017, Associated Press- Mississippi’s Medicaid director says he was never offered a job by a company that was later awarded a $2 billion contract by his agency. The Clarion-Ledger reports that emails uncovered in a lawsuit by losing bidders show David Dzielak and executives from Molina Healthcare discussed salary and benefit details of a position the company planned to create if it won the contract

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Mississippi insurance commissioner expects cost-sharing payments won’t last

August 15, 2017, Daily Journal, Michaela Gibson- Despite analysis stating that ending cost-sharing reductions will cause Obamacare premiums to jump and increase the federal deficit, Mississippi’s top insurance regulator anticipates they eventually will be eliminated.“I don’t think they will be renewed because of what’s happening in Washington,” said Mississippi State Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney during the Health Care Reform Forum Tuesday night at the Link Centre in Tupelo.

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Doctor Shortage Under Obamacare? It Didn’t Happen

August 14, 2017, The New York Times, Austin Frakt- When you have a health problem, your first stop is probably to your primary care doctor. If you’ve found it harder to see your doctor in recent years, you could be tempted to blame the Affordable Care Act. As the health law sought to solve one problem, access to affordable health insurance, it risked creating another: too few primary care doctors to meet the surge in appointment requests from the newly insured.Studies published just before the 2014 coverage expansion predicted a demand for millions more annual primary care appointments, requiring thousands of new primary care providers just to keep up. But a more recent study suggests primary care appointment availability may not have suffered as much as expected.

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Job offer or misinterpretation? Medicaid director accused of conflict with company awarded billion-d

August 14, 2017, The Clarion-Ledger, Anna Wolfe- Your 26th birthday doesn’t just come with the panic of getting closer to the Big 3-0. It also means you have to get off your parents’ health insurance plan and worry about finding your own way in the expensive and complex world of health care.Young people are finding themselves in health-care limbo as the powers that be in Washington continue to wrestle with repeal and replace attempts of the Affordable Care Act. All this uncertainty has young people wondering about how to plan for their future.

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Trump Administration Extends Deadline For Insurers To Decide On Obamacare Markets

August 14, 2017, Mississippi Public Broadcasting,  Alison Kodjak- The Trump administration is giving insurance companies an extra three weeks to decide whether to offer insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act markets, and how much to charge.
The extension comes as insurance companies wait for President Trump to decide whether he will continue to make payments to insurance companies that are called for under the Affordable Care Act but that some Republicans have opposed.

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