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NEWS
August 10, 1995 | BY LESTER THOMAS
Three jobs, three layoffs and three mouths to feed. Losing my job made me realize the importance of health insurance and how devastating it is to lose it. I thank God that Medicaid was there to protect my family from utter devastation. I hope Congress does not destroy that protection for other working families who may need it. When, after 17 years on the job, Enclosure Corp. of Bristol closed down in 1990, I felt the world closing in on me. My wife already had been sick and I had just been diagnosed with diabetes.
NEWS
April 3, 2012
SINCE LAST summer, when Gov. Corbett's administration started a massive effort to review whether Medicaid recipients were still eligible for their benefits, thousands of Philadelphia children have vanished from the rolls. Here's a look at the change in child Medicaid enrollments in Philadelphia County from August 2011 through January 2012. August 2011: 273,484. September 2011: 270,648. October 2011: 264,341. November 2011: 261,850. December 2011: 247,968.
BUSINESS
May 7, 1991 | By Gilbert M. Gaul, Inquirer Staff Writer
The state budget crisis is about to hit home for hospitals, doctors and pharmacists. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Welfare yesterday said the agency was short nearly $29 million, because of lagging tax revenues, and, as a result, would be able to pay hospitals, doctors and pharmacies only part of what they are owed in the next Medicaid payment cycle. The department is scheduled to mail checks Friday to health-care providers for services they performed in recent weeks for Medicaid recipients.
NEWS
July 13, 2006
ACOUPLE OF questions for Ed Rendell. (You remember him, don't you? He's the guy you see in Philadelphia during football season.): Ed, do you have any idea how hard it is for middle-class Pennsylvania residents to obtain Medicaid to cover a hospital bill? The leaders of our great state just decided, starting July 1, that U.S. citizens must prove they are such by providing an original birth certificate or passport. That seems fair, right? Don't answer just yet. An illegal alien can get Medicaid to cover a hospital bill with a notarized letter, a letter from the doctor and a copy of the bill.
NEWS
April 29, 2009
RE YOUR editorial "Watchdog Bites Guv": I couldn't agree more that an in-your-face, my-way-or-the-highway approach to auditing isn't helpful or productive. But your reference to the auditor general finding $3.3 million in improper Medicaid health insurance benefits in this multibillion-dollar program is akin to the discovery that a dog recently bit a man. While any degree of error in a public program is regrettable, it is a minuscule part of the total spending. Moreover, the auditors failed to take into account the complexities of the program and the fact that many of the alleged errors are inadvertent bookkeeping errors that have nothing to do with the integrity of the program and may not even have caused any mistaken payment for health care.
NEWS
July 26, 1989 | By Russell E. Eshleman Jr., Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Commonwealth Court yesterday upheld a ruling by the state Department of Public Welfare denying additional medical-assistance reimbursement to Hahnemann University and Frankford Hospitals in Philadelphia. Senior Judge Jacob Kalish said a new reimbursement system put into place by the department was proper, even though the reimbursements might be "inadequate" or less than actual costs. Jennifer Stiller, a lawyer representing the two hospitals, said the decision would cost Hahnemann and Frankford "in excess of a million dollars.
NEWS
June 22, 2011 | By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - President Obama's health-care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist that government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed. The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual income of $64,000 and still get Medicaid, said officials who make long-range cost estimates for the Health and Human Services Department. After initially downplaying any concern, the Obama administration said late Tuesday that it would look for a fix. Up to three million more people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the anomaly.
NEWS
April 30, 1997 | by Jim Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
A psychiatrist who operated eight inner-city mental health clinics for more than a decade was placed on three years' probation yesterday with three months under house arrest for an admitted $122,000 Medicaid fraud. "I am very sorry for what I have done," Dr. Howard H. Wurtzel, 60, of Lower Merion, told U.S. District Judge Herbert J. Hutton. The lenient sentence came as a relief for the defendant, his family and friends who had praised Wurtzel for being a compassionate, dedicated physician who has helped thousands of patients over the past 34 years.
NEWS
January 19, 1989 | By Bernice Z. Heron, Special to The Inquirer
When the state legislature passed a measure last year to include hospice care in Medicaid benefits starting Jan. 1, it in effect created a new benefit for AIDS patients. Typically, patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome are too young for hospice benefits provided under Medicare, are unemployed and do not have private health insurance. But most do qualify for Medicaid, which is available to people who cannot afford medical care. Prior to Jan. 1, Medicaid did not cover hospice care, which is provided for people who are terminally ill. Hospice program administrators say they are hurrying to incorporate the new state provisions into the package of services they already provide for AIDS patients.
NEWS
May 28, 2013
By Barbara W. Gold and Stephen F. Gold Despite an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent in April, Pennsylvania still hasn't decided to accept $3.8 billion a year from the federal government to expand Medicaid. The money, promised for each of the next three years, would not only increase health care and services to nearly 650,000 low-income people, but would also provide much-needed jobs. Gov. Corbett has written that the expansion would be "fiscally unsustainable without significant reforms to the program itself.
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BUSINESS
November 29, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nine companies have submitted bids to enter Pennsylvania's Medicaid market, which has grown substantially this year since Gov. Wolf expanded access to coverage. But only one of the new applicants seeking to offer managed care to lower-income Pennsylvanians beginning in 2017 is a national player. "Pennsylvania should be more attractive, in theory, to Medicaid-focused insurers, since it has an established statewide mandatory managed Medicaid program coupled with the recent eligibility expansion," said Mark Cherry, principal analyst for Florida and Pennsylvania at Decision Resources Group, a health-care data firm.
BUSINESS
November 8, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Universal Health Services Inc., of King of Prussia, said Friday that Pennsylvania officials had demanded that seven of its mental hospitals return $4 million to the state in fiscal 2011 payments made to the hospitals to compensate for losses on Medicaid and uninsured patients. The demand was made in a late September letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, UHS said in its quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commisssion. State officials on Friday said the letters went to about 40 of roughly 200 hospitals eligible for the payments, but did not say how much money was demanded back overall.
BUSINESS
October 1, 2015 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
A groundbreaking - but very expensive - new drug that cures many people with hepatitis C caused rapid and widespread increases in Medicaid spending in 2014, but with substantial variation across states, two doctors reported in a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine. Sofosbuvir, which has the brand-name Sovaldi and is made by Gilead Sciences, changed the standard of care for hepatitis C, which can destroy the liver and cause death if not properly treated. The 12-week course of treatment had a list price of $84,000.
BUSINESS
September 18, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on Wednesday took steps to put $17 billion worth of Medicaid business out for bid to private companies. At a time when the insurance industry considers goverment programs a growth sector, the moves are expected to attract new national competitors to Pennsylvania, where home-grown firms, such as AmeriHealth Caritas, have dominated for years. "When fully implemented, these new changes will mark the most significant changes to Medicaid in Pennsylvania since the department first moved to mandatory managed care 18 years ago," DHS Secretary Ted Dallas said.
BUSINESS
September 2, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General accused three Southeastern Pennsylvania residents of fraudulently billing Medicaid a total of $26,558 for personal-care services. Jeanne Schafle, 60, of Ambler, allegedly billed Medicaid $9,444 for attendant-care services to her daughter when her daughter was in the hospital on 13 separate occasions from March 2012 through March of this year. William Swinson III, 40, of Philadelphia, was accused of billing Medicaid $11,503 for services to a Medicaid beneficiary for more than two months after the beneficiary died.
NEWS
September 1, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Yvette R. Long, 50, of Philadelphia, who pushed to obtain quality health-care services for Pennsylvania's low-income residents, died Saturday, Aug. 22, of a pulmonary embolism while visiting her family in Delaware. Ms. Long was a leader of Pennsylvania's Medical Assistance Advisory Committee (MAAC), which counseled the state on Medicaid policy development and program administration. Since 2005, she had chaired the MAAC's Consumer Subcommittee, one of the most active consumer-advisory committees in the nation.
BUSINESS
August 20, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
A subsidiary of Philadelphia-based AmeriHealth Caritas was one of four companies selected by Iowa officials to participate in the management of the state's $4.2 billion Medicaid program, which serves about 560,000, officials announced Tuesday. AmeriHealth and the other winners - units of Anthem Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc., and WellCare Health Plans Inc. - will compete statewide for Medicaid beneficiaries under the program, which starts Jan. 1, 2016. Iowa officials picked four of 10 health insurer applicants that completed the process.
NEWS
April 22, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
New Jersey lawmakers on Monday scrutinized the state's handling of thousands of low-income residents' Medicaid applications, as the Christie administration asserted it had made progress in reducing the backlog. Gov. Christie expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and 400,000 residents have gained health insurance through the government program since 2014. However, thousands of applications have languished at understaffed county welfare agencies, in part because of the state's antiquated computer systems.
NEWS
March 6, 2015 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
The switch from former Gov. Tom Corbett's "Healthy Pennsylvania" program to Gov. Wolf's Medicaid expansion is expected to be completed by the end of September, Ted Dallas, acting secretary of the state Department of Human Services, said Wednesday. Dallas said the transition is a "couple-of-phase process" that will blend the three parts of Corbett's program - an expansion for those newly eligible, plus high- and low-risk categories for current participants - into a single plan like that adopted in New Jersey and more than 20 other states.
NEWS
February 11, 2015 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Fulfilling a campaign pledge, Gov. Wolf on Monday moved to dismantle his predecessor's alternative to Medicaid expansion and implement a traditional plan to extend health insurance to hundreds of thousands of low-income Pennsylvanians. Wolf said the "Healthy PA" alternative plan instituted by Gov. Tom Corbett was flawed, confusing some patients and leading others to lose treatment. He called his action a step "toward simplifying a complicated process and ensuring hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians have greater access to the health insurance they need.
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