AMCNO Attends Ohio House Healthcare Efficiencies Study Committee Discussion on Aging, Medicaid Reform

The Ohio House Healthcare Efficiencies Summer Study Committee convened recently at MetroHealth Medical Center to hear presentations by John McCarthy, Director of the Ohio Department of Medicaid, and Bonnie Kantor-Burman, Director of the Ohio Department of Aging, on Medicaid reform and the aging population in Ohio. Directors or other representatives from local companies, organizations and health systems were also in attendance to testify on how they are working to improve health outcomes through their facilities, while reducing costs. Among the 17 organizations giving testimony were the American Lung Association, Akron Children’s Hospital, Diabetes Partnership and University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

Susan Mego, Executive Director of Managed Care Programs at MetroHealth, reported to the committee that the county-owned hospital has implemented coordinated care programs, and through a partnership with CareSource, designed an outcome-based payment system pilot program that has increased efficiencies and decreased medical costs.

Mego told the committee that by coordinating care and better connecting patients to primary care physicians, MetroHealth was able to reduce emergency room visits by 44% in the first year of the program and saved the hospital $400 per member per month.

Committee Chairman Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) said he’s encouraged by improved healthcare outcomes and reduced costs for the state, but is concerned about the impact on primary care physicians. He and other committee members agreed that they are eager to see how a House bill (HB 64), which is seeking a federal waiver mandating all non-disabled adult Medicaid recipients to enroll in a health savings account, will impact the cost and quality of care. The waiver would require recipients to pay 2% of their family income (up to $99 per year) into the health savings account.

To learn more about the study committee or to view the testimonies from this and other meetings, click here.  You can also view photos from the meeting on our Twitter feed and Facebook page.

The Pollen Line is now closed. See you in the spring!

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