5 Things Washington: Post ACA system, federal policy update, Mike Kreidler

Much of what we’re watching in health care today will be featured on the agenda at our 2017 Inland NW State of Reform Health Policy Conference coming up on September 13th.

It’s a great group of speakers, and about 300 of our closest friends in Washington State health care.  You should come, network, and help shape the policy conversation before the legislature and Congress reconvene.  Sign up!

DJ 5 Things Signature


1.  Inland NW event teed up for Sept. 13

We are really excited to be hosting about 300 of our closest friends in Washington State health care and health policy on September 13th at the 2017 Inland NW State of Reform Health Policy Conference!  You can take a look at our Topical Agenda to scan the day’s discussions.  The Detailed Agenda has a list of about 70 speakers lined up and ready to engage with you.

If you haven’t taken a look at last year’s highlight video recently, it’s a worthwhile 3 minutes of your time.  It captures the state of the health care conversation at this time last year.  And, it gives you a sense of how far things have come in just the last 12 months.


2.  Medicaid integration in SW shows gains

An email forwarded to me says it most clearly:  “The Research and Data Analysis (RDA) Division of the Department of Social & Health Services has been tracking and compiling data on key measures in order to analyze the effectiveness of integrated managed care on Washington State’s Medicaid population. The data covers the first nine months of beneficiary experience under the FIMC model.”

“The attached document shows that the Southwest Washington region is performing significantly better in 10 measures, no significant difference in 8 measures, and a relative decline in one measure. For the measure that shows negative performance (ED utilization per 1,000 member months), the performance level in Southwest Washington was second-highest among all ACH regions. In other words, Southwest Washington is a high performer in this measure already, which contributes to the data showing a relative decline.”


3.  ACA health insurance tax to kick in

A funding provision of the ACA, Section 9010, levies a fee, or tax, on all fully insured policies. That means exchange, group, Medicaid, and Medicare. Generally speaking, those taxes are passed through to the individual payer, or to the public agency, like Medicaid. It is set to kick in January 1st.

In Washington State, this will be equal to an additional $552 annually per group family product. It’s another $143 on top of an individual product, according to an Oliver Wyman report. All told, the state will need to cough up another $121m in funds from the state budget to cover the price rises in Medicaid.

You’ll hear about the efforts to repeal the ACA, and what’s coming next, during our 9:30 am panel in Spokane titled “Update on Federal Health Policy.”


4.  Commissioner Mike Kreidler, DC & Spokane

After Labor Day, Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Lamar Alexander will convene hearings in the Senate HELP Committee on reforming the ACA. They are searching for a set of bi-partisan compromises that might pass the Senate. Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler will be among the few to testify at the hearing when the national spotlight shines.

He’ll also be in the spotlight at our Inland Northwest event as our Morning Keynote Speaker. He’ll talk through what is happening in DC, what the National Association of Insurance Commissioners is doing to influence that process, and what that will mean for the markets here in Washington State.  His comments kick off the day at 8:30 am.


5.  Post-ACA health care system

Given the slow movement of time, we are soon to be moving into a post-ACA system whether the underlying bill is replaced or not.  State regulatory and procurement changes, CSR funding from the feds, and corporate consolidation will all have considerable impacts on the system, regardless of whether Congress passes a change to the ACA.

That’s why our panel on “Building a Post-ACA Health System in Washington State” is going to be so interesting. It’s coming up at 2:45 in Spokane.

MaryAnne Lindeblad (Director of Medicaid), Pam MacEwan (CEO of the Exchange), and Sue Lani Madsen (conservative columnist) will make up a panel of smart, thoughtful, and diverse voices for this discussion.