CT visit from the FMAP van, nursing homes without air conditioning, and more Medicare donut hole checks mailed

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Wednesday the Driving for Quality Care RV stopped in Manchester to bring attention to Congress’ failure to pass an extension of the FMAP increase. FMAP is the matching rate the federal government pays CT for Medicaid spending. The 2009 federal stimulus bill raised the rates for all states, but that increase is scheduled to end in December. Congress is considering extending that relief to states until next June, but hasn’t acted. CT, like most states, assumed that money was coming in setting this year’s budget; CT stands to lose $304 million if Congress doesn’t act. CSG/ERC and other national groups are urging Congress to act.

Patient’s family members and staff are raising concerns about the health of CT nursing home residents during the heat wave. Unlike NJ, RI and MA, CT does not require air conditioning in nursing homes. State law does regulate maximum temperatures, but DPH has not developed regulations and is not enforcing temperatures.

About 50,000 CT Medicare beneficiaries will soon receive a second $250 check to reimburse prescription drug costs. The checks will go out to seniors who fell into the donut hole by June 30th. The rebates are part of the new national health reform Affordable Care Act.
Ellen Andrews