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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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ARTICLES BY DATE
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.
NEWS
February 6, 2015 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia company and two employees were charged Wednesday by state prosecutors with more than $1 million in Medicaid fraud. Infinite Care Inc., 6423 Rising Sun Ave., has been billing for services not provided or for inflated services since January 2010, according to a statewide grand jury presentment. Also charged were a sister company, Infinite Care Special Needs Inc.; Julio Miranda, vice president of both companies; and Wanda De Martinez, treasurer of both companies. Infinite Care paid family members to monitor home-care patients and then billed Medicaid for professional medical services that were not rendered, prosecutors said.
NEWS
January 26, 2015 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
A year before Healthy Pennsylvania's rollout, Michael Harle, president and CEO of Gaudenzia, the drug and alcohol treatment center, was assured by top state Medicaid officials his clients would not see their health insurance change. Harle has been around. So he asked for that guarantee in writing. He didn't get it. A high-placed executive "promised me that they would get it right," he said. But "they" didn't. After Medicaid recipients began shifting to the new program on Dec. 1, "all hell broke loose," Harle said.
NEWS
January 22, 2015 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
For two years, the Obama administration dramatically raised Medicaid reimbursements for primary-care physicians in the hope that they would see more poor patients. The idea was that states would jump in to continue at least part of the payments. Few did, and the experiment ended Dec. 31, before researchers could report evidence of an impact. Now they have. Significantly more appointments for eligible patients were available during the higher-pay period than before, according to a study published online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
NEWS
January 17, 2015 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Almost seven weeks after the launch of Healthy Pennsylvania, the state's Medicaid expansion plan, enrollment has been hampered by delays. Only an estimated 55,000 of 163,968 people who applied for the program by Jan. 1 have been enrolled in the Medicaid expansion, said Kait Gillis, spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services. She acknowledged the delays and said the agency was working to fix them. For example, advocates say people with active addictions and mental-health issues have been moved from the general assistance program and switched to a private insurer that was not expecting or prepared for their needs.
NEWS
December 30, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman and Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Since New Jersey expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, its efforts to enroll thousands of low-income residents have been hampered by low staffing and antiquated technology. Gov. Christie championed the expansion, and, indeed, 300,000 New Jersey adults have enrolled in Medicaid, the federal program for the poor and disabled, since President Obama's health-care law took effect in October 2013. Many gained coverage directly through online state and federal portals. Yet an estimated 11,000 others, whom experts describe as some of the state's most vulnerable citizens, have received no response to their applications.
NEWS
December 7, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Terry Sullivan doesn't like the Affordable Care Act. Never will. Sullivan believes that the federal government has no business being involved in his choice of health insurance. For 28 years, that insurance was Independence Blue Cross' Special Care plan. But the plan was discontinued in 2013 because it didn't meet the ACA's qualified health plan standards. So Sullivan, of King of Prussia, went on the marketplace and bought the company's silver-tier special reserve plan. "I had no beef with the plan," says Sullivan, 60. It "was basically better than what I had before.
NEWS
December 3, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Toll-free phone lines were jammed, and low-income workers streamed into sign-up sites as enrollment opened Monday for expanded health insurance coverage under Medicaid. An estimated 600,000 people - most working at low-wage jobs - are eligible for Medicaid through Healthy PA, the state's alternative to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. First-day enrollment numbers were unavailable, Kait Gillis, a spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services, said at the end of the day. Even late in the day, callers to the state's toll-free line were told to call back later because of the high volume of calls.
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