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NEWS
January 13, 2011
Uncompensated care at Maryland hospitals indeed drives up the health care costs for us all ( "Maryland hospitals struggle with uncompensated care," Jan. 12). We're fortunate to have community leaders who understand that improving access to care drives down these costs. Mercy Hospital CEO Thomas Mullen long has helped us save money by ending the homelessness of our clients, and Gov. Martin O'Malley has shown true leadership by expanding Medicaid for low-income parents well before national reform efforts.
ARTICLES BY DATE
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
The state health insurance exchange continued enrolling consumers in Medicaid, adding almost 22,000 new people to the rolls in the last month, according to a report released Friday. The report said 376,850 people in the state have gained coverage under the federal-state program for the low-income since the exchange launched a year ago under the federal Affordable Care Act. Another 2,425 people bought private insurance plans in the last month, though the open enrollment period is closed.
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NEWS
July 13, 2012
Since Gov. Martin O'Malleyand Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown are bragging about how far Maryland has advanced in the new expansion of Medicaid under the health care reform act, could one of your reporters ask this simple question: How do they plan on funding this growth when the feds stop funding this by 100 percent and Maryland taxpayers need to come up with 10 percent? Joe Heming
NEWS
September 30, 2014
Every time I read another column by Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. claiming that "Obamacare" is a failure I nearly split my sides laughing ( "Affordable Care Act lies," Sept. 21). Tell that story to America's hospitals, which are saving $5.7 billion this year alone. Why such huge savings? Because in states that have expanded Medicaid, hospital bills are getting paid. In states that haven't expanded Medicaid, however, unpaid hospital bills are still costing billions - $5.5 billion in Texas alone where Rick Perry, the Republican governor and perennial loser presidential candidate, has refused to expand his state's Medicaid system and hospitals are kept afloat with property taxes.
NEWS
May 27, 2011
I am writing to speak up for amputees and persons with chronic limb impairment. Several states have taken the extreme steps of trying to modify Medicaid benefits so that the state would deny access to artificial limbs. I am asking you to keep this from happening in Maryland. Recent studies such as the "Prosthetic and Orthotic Adult Benefit" by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy have concluded that providing this essential health benefit saves money by helping patients avoid costly co-morbid medical conditions.
NEWS
July 8, 1994
The state health department announced a plan yesterday to reduce spending on the relatively small number of people who account for more than half of its yearly Medicaid budget. The patients will be identified, health care will be found for them and the expenses will be monitored.Article, Page 2B.
NEWS
By Joseph DeMattos | June 13, 2010
Some people continue to debate the impact of the economic stimulus package passed by Congress and enacted by President Barack Obama in 2009. However, in my opinion, there is no debate that the parts of the law that protected the health and long-term care of people most in need made a profound and positive difference in many lives. That positive difference may soon turn into damaging and painful reductions in the resources that our elders, families and people with disabilities depend upon.
NEWS
July 27, 2011
Several states have taken the extreme step of trying to modify Medicaid orthotics and prosthetics benefits in order to deny patients access to artificial limbs. I hope Marylanders will oppose allowing this to happen in our state. Opposing cuts to benefits is an appeal to both fairness and fiscal responsibility. Studies have shown that providing this essential health benefit saves money by helping patients avoid costly co-morbid medical conditions. O&P care permits patients to return to gainful employment and end their dependency on federal and state assistance programs.
HEALTH
By Larry Carson | larry.carson@baltsun.com | December 12, 2009
A growing backlog of requests for state medical assistance has Maryland's nursing homes picking up the tab for millions of dollars and patients facing months of uncertainty over the status of their claims. In one case, an Ellicott City nursing home did not receive a payment for a 59-year-old patient with debilitating multiple sclerosis for about a year, between December 2008 and last month. During that time, the patient, Barbara Sherman, her husband, Winston, and their elder-care lawyer repeatedly called and wrote the state Department of Human Resources.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2012
Baltimore County's dental clinics can now accept Medicaid, and patients will find better equipment when they visit. The county - which has clinics at the Eastern Family Resource Center in Rosedale and the Liberty Family Resource Center in Randallstown - can take Medicaid for children and pregnant women. Officials including County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Del. John Olszewski Jr. visited the Rosedale clinic this week to see the dental program's new digital X-ray equipment. The machines expose patients to a third of the radiation that a traditional X-ray machine does, health officials said.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell and The Baltimore Sun | September 15, 2014
The owner of an Owings Mills medical firm is accused of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid of more than $7.5 million in a federal indictment unsealed Monday. Federal prosecutors say Alpha Diagnostics owner Rafael Chikvashvili, 67, of Baltimore created false examination reports, submitted insurance claims for medical procedures that were never performed by licensed physicians, and overbilled Medicare and Medicaid, among other fraudulent acts. The X-ray company's offices in Owings Mills and Harrisburg, Pa., were raided last October by the FBI. Chikvashvili directed his employees, who were not doctors, to interpret X-rays, medical tests, ultrasounds and cardiological exams, rather than paying licensed physicians to do the work, the indictment alleged.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | August 1, 2014
The Maryland health exchange reported Friday that more than 411,000 people had signed up for health insurance as of July 26, up more than 38,000 from a month ago. Open enrollment on the online marketplace is closed, but those who lost their coverage, got married or have another life event were still eligible to sign up. Also, those who qualify for Medicaid are allowed to sign up year-round. Most of those who gained coverage enrolled in Medicaid. The number reflects some who also were dropped from the program because they no longer qualify.
NEWS
By Darrell Gaskin | July 27, 2014
The Potomac River has long been a symbolic divide between two states with divergent histories and politics. Today, the difference between Virginia and Maryland plays out in Medicaid coverage. In Maryland, low-income workers - adults living alone making $15,552 a year or less, or a family of four earning less than $31,720 - are eligible for Medicaid. In Virginia, workers with these incomes or lower are most likely uninsured. That's because the Virginia legislature last month rejected Gov. Terry McAuliffe's appeal to expand Medicaid to cover this group.
NEWS
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | July 6, 2014
Maryland officials are poised to again review their Medicaid rolls for those who no longer qualify. The state ceased such reviews for six months as it worked to open the new online marketplace for people to buy public and private insurance plans and adjust to new rules. The absence of such reviews was estimated to cost taxpayers up to $30 million, though officials believe the amount will be lower. "There will be some kind of analysis," said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, state health secretary.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2014
Maryland's health exchange officials say they have contacted all 18,000 people who reported having trouble signing up for insurance through the state's online marketplace before the end of open enrollment in April and added 7,500 people to the rolls. Others enrolled on their own and still more were duplicates, said Alison Walker, a spokeswoman for the exchange. She couldn't say if there were others left who had technical trouble with the glitch-prone site, but she said they'd still be able to enroll.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | March 28, 2014
Gayle Hafner, a senior staff attorney of the Maryland Disability Law Center and a co-founder of Medicaid Matters Maryland who was an outspoken advocate for those with disabilities, died March 22 of a heart attack during an operation at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center. The longtime Towson resident was 60. "A premier civil rights attorney, Ms. Hafner sounded a voice for children in foster care and people with disabilities," said Lauren Young, director of litigation for the Maryland Disability Law Center.
NEWS
June 30, 2010
As if Maryland's budget troubles weren't bad enough, Congressional inaction is blowing a new $389 billion hole in the state's spending plan for the fiscal year that starts Thursday. Maryland was counting on the federal government to continue supplemental Medicaid payments enacted as part of the stimulus program for six more months, but amid mounting concern over budget deficits in Congress, the House of Representatives failed to appropriate the funds, and efforts to revive them in the Senate have been defeated by Republican filibuster threats.
NEWS
By Stephen H. Morgan | September 25, 2012
When most people hear the word Medicaid, they probably think about health care for poor people, especially children. To an extent, that is true. But for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, Medicaid means so much more than just health care. For them, Medicaid is the reason people with disabilities and their families have been able to thrive in our communities, having a quality of life comparable to that of other citizens. Now, in the face of a protracted economic downturn, Medicaid is under attack.
NEWS
March 20, 2014
Regarding your article on Connecticut's health exchange ( "Maryland looks to Connecticut as exchange model," March 14), Maryland should copy that state's one-payer Medicaid system for the poor. In 2012, Connecticut's Medicaid program jettisoned its private insurance plans, a system similar to Maryland's Medicaid program, and formed "Husky," a state-administered Medicaid plan with only one payer - the state. The impetus for the change came after outside audits of two private Medicaid insurers in Connecticut showed significantly less money going to actual medical care than reported by the insurers.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | February 27, 2014
Maryland must spend as much as $30.5 million more to provide Medicaid coverage to Marylanders because the state's glitch-riddled health exchange website can't tell whether they are still eligible. It's another problem exacerbated by the software that has been causing headaches since the exchange website launched on Oct. 1 for those trying to get into the expanded Medicaid program or buy private insurance with subsidies. This issue identified in a legislative report only applies to people already in Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor.
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