|Input released today from a broad cross-section of stakeholders interested in how the state will implement changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program includes a wide array of suggestions, many of which are reflected in two overarching themes: support for integrating behavioral, physical and oral health services; and a desire to better address the wide set of social factors that shape Kentucky’s health. Stakeholders generally said they are open to including incentives for healthy behaviors in Kentucky Medicaid but opposed to penalties for cost-sharing provisions.
“The input reflects avid interest from every group that participated, and suggests more alignment than disagreement on how to improve Medicaid,” said Susan Zepeda, President and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which released a report summarizing these stakeholder ideas. “Our goal is to help inform the process of changing the way Kentucky provides Medicaid services to ensure that we maintain the gains achieved under the Affordable Care Act, while also enabling the state to try new methods of ensuring access to affordable quality health care for Medicaid beneficiaries.”
The report captures input generated by a May 12 meeting convened by the Foundation to gather ideas and feedback from a variety of stakeholders regarding Kentucky’s plan to apply for a waiver, under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act, that allows states to test and evaluate new ways to provide Medicaid. A Section 1115 waiver could permit Kentucky to try innovative, cost-effective approaches to providing services under Medicaid, the federal health care insurance program for low-income individuals that is administered by the states.
The Foundation’s Medicaid waiver stakeholder report summarizes participants’ suggestions and concerns, which were grouped into eight themes:
The May 12 meeting gathered a variety of stakeholders: physical, behavioral and oral health providers; consumers and consumer advocates; public health professionals; academic researchers; health systems; and payers. The Medicaid Waiver Stakeholder Convening report, as well as a brief examining 1115 waiver provisions employed by five other states and summarizing research about how those provisions are working (prepared by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center, or SHADAC, at the University of Minnesota), and a Kentucky Voices for Health presentation summarizing recent changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program, are linked.
|Bonnie J. Hackbarth is with the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.|