Medicaid Council update

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At Friday’s Medicaid Care Management Oversight Council meeting the Dental Health Partnership reported on a remarkable secret shopper survey of the program. They found that callers were able to schedule appointments with 88% of offices called; the average wait time for an appointment was 11.2 days. Not bad. But rather than sit on their laurels, the Partnership came up with a corrective plan for the gaps and will re-measure next year. The number of participating dental providers is up significantly. The Partnership is now looking at how to increase demand and appropriate utilization (when do you ever hear that from a state agency)? In addition to the tried and true they are using innovative outreach techniques such as Facebook and leveraging medical providers. Concerns were raised that this progress achieved due to the dental lawsuit not be lost or reversed when the four year agreement timeframe is over. Lawsuits work. CT Voices reported on HUSKY utilization patterns during 2008 when the program abruptly switched from capitated financing to an ASO model for just over a year. For measures of children’s health, utilization was either the same or better in 2008 than the year before including annual well-child visits and developmental screenings. This mirrors Mercer’s assessment that medical costs didn’t change much during the ASO period; they even dropped slightly. DSS announced that CT was awarded a $1 million state demonstration planning grant by CMS to integrate care for dual eligibles, but did not have time to describe their plans. The RFP for the Medicaid ASO is out, but that also was not discussed. We will have more on the content of the RFP soon. Ellen Andrews