11 things to know now that COVID-19 isn’t an “emergency” anymore

Life has changed forever because of COVID-19. And the virus is still spreading, and still causing serious illness or significant disruption of ‘normal’ life. But when the clock strikes 11:59 p.m. on May 11, some of the special rules and programs put in place during the past three years will end. Here’s a guide.

Pandemic-era Medicaid benefits expire, expert explains economic impact

Medicaid benefits were expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic to cover low-income patients without a need for them to prove their eligibility or to reapply. At the end of March, those benefit expansions expired, and states have begun reviewing the Medicaid rolls to remove those who do not qualify, a process that could create new hardships for millions of Americans.

Paying Family Members for At-Home Medical Care of Their Children Found to Be a Viable Answer to Healthcare Worker Shortage

A recent study found that a Medicaid program in Colorado can help address the shortage of home healthcare workers for children with complex medical needs by offering family members certified nursing assistant (CNA) training and paying them for at-home medical care their child requires. Results show that children who received family-CNA care were not more likely to be hospitalized than children cared for by a non-family CNA. Children with family-CNA caregivers also experienced greater care continuity since turnover was not an issue as it tends to be with traditional home healthcare workers. Findings were published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Nearly Half of Children on Medicaid Lack Outpatient Follow-up Within a Month After Emergency Care for Mental Health

Only 56 percent of Medicaid-enrolled children received any outpatient follow-up within 30 days after discharge from the Emergency Department (ED) for a mental health concern, according to a large study published in the journal Pediatrics. Rates of timely follow-up among Black children were particularly low, with 10 percent fewer receiving an outpatient mental health appointment within 30 days compared to white children.

Health insurance changes are coming – don’t get caught without coverage

Now that the pandemic has eased up, and jobs are easier to find, an emergency order regarding Medicaid and CHIP enrollment will end on March 31, 2023. Some people are calling it an “unwinding.” This means that everyone in these programs will have to prove they are still eligible for their coverage if they want to keep it.

American College of Rheumatology: Proposed Rule Will Bring Great Transparency to Medicare Advantage Prior Authorization

The American College of Rheumatology said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Advancing Interoperability and Improving Prior Authorization Proposed Rule will bring greater transparency, reduce administrative burden, & make turnaround on prior authorization more predictable for payers.

“Sandwich generation” study shows challenges of caring for both kids and aging parents

Their older parents need care. Their kids are still under 18. And they probably have a job, too. They’re the “sandwich generation” – a longtime nickname for the mostly female, mostly middle-aged group of Americans who serve as caregivers for both older and younger family members at once. A new study estimates there are at least 2.5 million of them, while giving a detailed view into who they are, and which older adults rely on them.

Homelessness, hospitals and mental health: Study shows impacts and costs

A new study that harnesses a new form of data on hospital patients’ housing status reveals vast differences in diagnoses between patients with and without housing issues who are admitted to hospitals. This includes a sharp divide in care for mental, behavioral and neurodevelopmental conditions.

Study compares adverse events after two types of bariatric surgery in adolescents

Adolescents who underwent sleeve gastrectomy, a type of weight-loss surgery that involves removing part of the stomach, were less likely to go the emergency room in the five years after their operations than those who had their stomachs divided into pouches through gastric bypass surgery, according to new research.

Study Finds Persistent Disparities in Access to Prenatal Care Among Pregnant People Based on Citizenship Status and Education Level

Findings suggest exclusions to Medicaid because of immigration status may increase risk for maternal health care disparities in some immigrant populations

Ochsner Health Reveals New Findings: Digital Health Pilot Dramatically Improves Outcomes for Medicaid Patients Battling Chronic Diseases, Among First to Do So

The statistically and clinically significant results of the pilot program– one of the first in the country – showed that enrollment in Ochsner Digital Medicine brought nearly half of all out-of-control Hypertension patients under control at only 90 days.

New Transitional Care Clinical Pathway Improves Health Equity

People with multiple chronic conditions require complex care management and often experience significant challenges when transitioning from hospital to home. This is especially true for people insured by Medicaid who are disproportionately Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and experience higher chronic disease burdens and adverse outcomes following hospitalization. For them, comprehensive transitional care support is a paramount, yet often absent aspect of care delivery that may result in health inequities.

For Medicaid-Insured Patients with Cancer, Health Insurance Does Not Always Mean Health Access

Although there has been a significant increase in the number of U.S. residents insured through Medicaid since the expansion of the Patient Protection and Afforadble Care Act (ACA) in March 2010, the ability of Medicaid-insured patients to access cancer care services has not been well understood. In a study published today in the journal JAMA Network Open, researchers at Yale Cancer Center assessed the acceptance of Medicaid insurance among patients diagnosed with common cancers.

Interventions based on social needs may reduce hospitalizations, health care use

A randomized study of adult Medicaid patients suggests that social program-based interventions for housing, food security, and transportation may reduce inpatient admission rates by 11 percent and emergency department visits by 4 percent. However, health care savings based on these interventions may not cover the cost of social the social programs. The findings are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

New Study Finds Medicaid Expansion Increases Survival in Newly Diagnosed Cancer Patients

A new large study led by researchers at the American Cancer Society (ACS) shows Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was associated with an increase in two-year overall survival rates among patients newly diagnosed with cancer, especially among non-Hispanic Black people and people living in rural areas.

Aging U.S. Immigrant Population Poses Challenges to State Health Care Systems

A team led by Dr. Arturo Vargas Bustamante, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management and director of faculty research at the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative (LPPI), has found the United States faces a potential crisis in terms of health care for documented, and undocumented immigrants.

What’s at stake in the Supreme Court’s ACA case? A quick explainer

Though the election and pandemic have eclipsed it in the news, there’s another event unfolding that could affect nearly all Americans: a Supreme Court case that will decide the future of the Affordable Care Act. A health policy researcher explains what would happen if it’s overturned.

Healthy Indiana Plan, shared data improve Medicaid enrollment, IUPUI study finds

In a new study published in Health Affairs, researchers at IUPUI and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration found that Medicaid enrollment occurred more frequently and more quickly for individuals impacted by the justice system after the Healthy Indiana Plan…

Medicaid expansion linked to lower mortality rates for three major types of cancer

In states that have expanded Medicaid availability as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), mortality rates for three major forms of cancer are significantly lower than in states that have not expanded their Medicaid, a new study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard University shows.

Researchers Find that Expansion of Medicaid Under the Affordable Care Act Improved Maternal Health for Low-Income Women

The period of time before pregnancy is critically important for the health of a woman and her infant, yet not all women have access to health insurance during this time. New research finds that the expansion of Medicaid for many states under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) had a positive impact on a variety of indicators of maternal health prior to conception.

The Mount Sinai Hospital and Healthfirst partnered to develop an educational intervention and payment redesign program to improve timely postpartum visits for low-income high-risk mothers in New York City

A health care system (The Mount Sinai Hospital) and a Medicaid payer (Healthfirst) partnered to develop an educational intervention and payment redesign program to improve timely postpartum visits for low-income high-risk mothers in New York City between April 2015 and October 2016.

Correlations identified between insurance coverage and states’ voting patterns

Cleveland – Researchers at Case Western Reserve University reviewed national data from the U.S. Census Bureau and found associations between states’ voting patterns in the 2016 presidential elections and decreases in the number of adults 18 to 64 years of age without health insurance coverage.

Study Shows Breast Cancer Detected Earlier in States with Expanded Medicaid Coverage

In a new study by Yale Cancer Center, researchers have demonstrated that in states with expanded Medicaid coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a higher percentage of women with breast cancer had their disease diagnosed at an early stage. No such change was seen in states that didn’t expand their coverage. The findings were published today in JAMA Surgery.

Food Allergy May Be Underdiagnosed in Children on Medicaid

Prevalence of food allergy among Medicaid-enrolled children across the U.S. was substantially lower (0.6 percent), compared to previous national estimates using parent surveys (7.6 percent) and reports of physician confirmation of food allergy (4.7 percent). The study, published in Academic Pediatrics, was the first to analyze Medicaid claims data of over 23 million children to estimate prevalence of food allergy diagnosis.

WashU Expert: Coronavirus crisis highlights need for health insurance in Missouri and other states

As the St. Louis region and the state of Missouri confront the coronavirus challenge, it has posed a number of serious issues for health policy analysts and health economists.“This is the most unprecedented challenge to the health system I have seen in my career,” said Tim McBride, the Bernard Becker Professor at Washington University in St.