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June 2016

A New Role for Medicaid Managed Care
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The Managed Long Term Services and Supports program will begin in the Chicago area on July 1. MLTSS is a "sister" program to the Medicare Medicaid Alignment Initiative, which provides managed care to dual eligibles (people with both Medicare and Medicaid) in Illinois.

Long Term Services and Supports help an individual accomplish activities of daily living, which may include but are not limited to bathing, dressing and eating.

A specific group of dual eligibles will be required to enroll in MLTSS - those who: live in the Chicagoland area; have chosen not to participate in MMAI; and live in a nursing facility or receive waiver services from a Medicaid waiver program providing home and community based services.

The Department for Health and Family Services has already started sending out enrollment notices. People will have 60 days to select a plan or they will be auto-enrolled in one. Once enrolled, they will have 90 days to change MLTSS plans, if they wish.

Want to know more? The Make Medicare Work Coalition has a host of resources explaining MLTSS, including a topical brief, a webinar featuring a presentation by HFS staff, and a FAQ.

Take Action!

June 30th is the deadline for Illinois lawmakers to pass a budget before the end of the fiscal year. There are easy ways to be an advocate, thanks to the Responsible Budget Coalition and Illinois Partners for Human Service.

Call your lawmaker toll free at 1-844-311-CUTS (1-844-311-2887). Tell them that they need to pass a fully funded budget that chooses revenue before June 30th. Illinois families, communities and small businesses can't wait any longer. Click here to view a template call script.

Call Governor Rauner toll free at 1-217-782-0244. Tell him that he needs to work with the General Assembly in passing a responsible budget that chooses revenue before June 30th. Non-budget agenda items shouldn't stand in the way. Click here to view a template call script.

Tweet lawmakers why they need to pass a budget with language created by Illinois Partners for Human Service:

Pass a budget so people w/ disabilities & seniors can live w/ dignity & community support #GetItDoneIL #ILBudgetNow

Pass a budget so parents can remain in the workforce & know their kids are safe #GetItDoneIL #ILBudgetNow

Pass a budget so victims of abuse have a safe place to seek help & support #GetItDoneIL #ILBudgetNow

#GetItDoneIL: Because we are all better off when our communities have access to mental health & substance use services

#GetItDoneIL: Because all children deserve to thrive in safe, healthy communities #ILBudgetNow

Stand together at the Thompson Center in Chicago on June 30th to call for a responsible budget that chooses revenue over cuts that harm our communities and ask that non-budget agendas not stand in the way. Contact with questions.

From our blog
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NOTICE Act Could Do More for Patients Starting August 6th, the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act, or NOTICE Act, will go into effect. This new law requires hospitals to give written and verbal notice to Medicare beneficiaries who have been on observation status for more than 24 hours.

Observation status is a term hospitals use to bill Medicare. Observation status is based on a doctor’s medical determination. Doctors place patients on observation status if their condition is not serious enough for inpatient admission status, but still requires monitoring in case health worsens.

The NOTICE Act is a step in the right direction because patients are often unaware of their observation status or its potential consequences. However, the law could do better to prevent those consequences.Read more...

In case you missed it

27 Chicago schools have unsafe levels of lead in water, an issue first discovered through a pilot testing program in late April. Chicago Public Schools will host six meetings with concerned parents about high lead levels in their schools.

UnitedHealthcare will stop selling marketplace plans to Illinois consumers in 2017. The exit of UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest health insurer, means fewer choices for consumers. The pull out is likely a result of losses the company has incurred due to their participation in the marketplaces.

From our social media

On Twitter
91% of Illinois agencies have cut the number of clients they serve, because of the budget impasse @unitedwaychi

On Twitter
Innovation is moving the health care system toward whole-person care #HealthPolicy #Medicaid

On Facebook
A majority of Americans are not prepared to cover the costs of long-term services and supports and even more do not understand the financial implications

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