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Managed Care Task Force Holds First Hearing

The Task Force for Examining Statewide Medicaid Delivery Models held its first meeting on October 20. The Missouri legislature created this task force in the fiscal year 2016 budget as part of the language that expands managed care statewide for the patient populations currently covered by managed care in the I-70 corridor. The language in the budget is fairly broad, which has sparked debate over the most effective model of managed care and how it should be implemented.

Legislators and members of provider groups, healthcare associations, and managed care companies were appointed to the task force. You can view a full list of members here. Its official charge is to “develop a strategy for implementation of a statewide care delivery model, including but not limited to managed care.” Representative Marsha Haefner (R-St. Louis), co-chair of the task force, emphasized that any care delivery model aside from fee-for-service can be considered. After taking testimony and holding discussions, the committee will develop recommendations to submit to the General Assembly.

During the October 20 hearing, task force members discussed their goals for the task force and their concerns about Missouri’s healthcare system. Many members emphasized the importance of integrating physical and behavioral health, measuring health outcomes, and aligning incentives for providers and payers. The task force discussed mechanisms for providers and payers to share patient data in real-time to more effectively coordinate care. Inadequate provider access was also a concern for members, specifically the lack of mental health resources in many rural areas.

Dr. Joe Parks, Director of Mo HealthNet, updated the task force on the request for information released by the department in September on managed care expansion. The RFI solicited feedback on how best to coordinate care, develop payment incentives, and measure health outcomes. It also asked about which geographic areas of the state present distinct challenges for effective care delivery.

Responses to the RFI were due October 9, and 36 entities, including MARHC, submitted information. Respondents included managed care companies, providers, researchers, vendors, and advocacy organizations. Summaries of the responses will be made public by late November or early December. Rep. Haefner hopes that the feedback from the RFI will generate additional ideas for improving healthcare delivery in Missouri that the task force can consider. The Task Force for Examining Statewide Medicaid Delivery Models’ next meeting is tentatively scheduled for November 12.

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