As the nation debates health reform options, Governor Jim Douglas today announced that Vermont was chosen to participate in Transforming Care for Dual Eligibles, a national initiative that will test innovative models for people who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid . Vermont will join six states in developing and implementing strategies to improve care and control costs for dual eligibles, a high-need population with individual health care costs nearly five times those of other Medicare beneficiaries. The program is designed by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) and supported by The Commonwealth Fund. I m so proud that Vermont is once again leading the nation in its health care reform efforts, said Governor Jim Douglas. Vermont is first in the nation to have a Choices for Care 1115 Long Term Care Waiver program, which equalizes entitlement to nursing home and home/community based services for long term care Medicaid eligible Vermonters. In addition, Vermont developed the Global Commitment 1115 Waiver, a first in the nation Medicaid Waiver wherein the State is the managed care organization. This grant will help us continue to make progress toward lowering the growth in health care costs for Vermonters eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.Under the new grant, Vermont will work with CHCS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the authority and process to create a pilot where Vermont would be a Special Needs Plan (SNP). As a SNP, Vermont would work with local providers to serve dually eligible beneficiaries across both of Vermont s waivers. As we look toward reforming our health care system, there are significant opportunities to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of care for people who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare coverage, whose needs are often overlooked, said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. The work of these seven states in designing patient-centered delivery models, if successful, could help pave the way for other states seeking to improve care for these vulnerable beneficiaries.Nationally, the more than eight million adults who are dually eligible represent approximately 18% of the Medicaid population, but account for 46% of the program s costs due to their complex array of medical, behavioral, and long-term care needs. A majority of dual eligibles are in fragmented fee-for-service systems, with little to no care coordination. Integrating the financing, delivery, and administration of services across Medicaid and Medicare could significantly reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and decrease the use of institutional care over time. This is exactly that type of program integration we need in order to provide better care for our citizens, Douglas continued. Through my work as co-chair of the National Governors Association State Alliance for e-Health, we are pursuing strategies for increased long-term care coordination with electronic medical records to better serve those with chronic conditions. I will continue to lead both nationally and here at home so that we can make important reforms and provide better care to Vermonters.Vermont is joining Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas, in seeking to eliminate the barriers to integrating Medicaid- and Medicare-covered services. Through the 18-month program, participating states will receive in-depth technical assistance addressing program design, care models, financing mechanisms, contracting strategies, and working with CMS. With growing momentum, including Congressional interest, for integrating care, it is an ideal time to develop and test new state approaches to improve the quality of care for duals, said Melanie Bella, Senior Vice President at CHCS. We applaud Vermont for its commitment to establish practical and replicable solutions for integrating Medicaid and Medicare and improve care for dual eligibles in the state.The Transforming Care initiative continues the work begun by CMS and five states under CHCS’ earlier Integrated Care Program to address operational hurdles to integrating care by contracting with SNPs. The new program s goal is to develop a range of integrated delivery models for dual eligibles that can be implemented by other states across the country. Lessons from participating states will be disseminated to Medicaid stakeholders throughout the course of the initiative.The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation supporting independent research on health policy reform and a high performance health system. For more information, visit www.commonwealthfund.org(link is external).The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is a nonprofit policy resource center dedicated to improving health care quality for low-income children and adults, people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, frail elders, and racially and ethnically diverse populations experiencing disparities in care. CHCS works with state and federal agencies, health plans, and providers to develop innovative programs that better serve Medicaid beneficiaries. For more information, visit www.chcs.org(link is external).Source: Governor’s officeVermont Resources:For details about the Choices fro Care Waiver, please refer to http://www.ddas.vermont.gov/ddas-programs/programs-cfc/programs-cfc-defa(link is external)…).For details about he Global commitment waiver, please refer to: http://ovha.vermont.gov/administration/2008-global-commitment-to-health-(link is external)…)
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 23-year-old woman was killed in a two-vehicle collision Thursday morning in Lindenhurst, Suffolk County Police said. AlyssaMarie Gerbasio, 23, of West Babylon, was traveling north on Straight Path at 7:12 a.m. March 17 when her 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee was struck by a 2015 Jeep Liberty headed east on 49th Street that attempted to cross Straight Path, according to Suffolk County Police First Squad detectives. Gerbasio was ejected from her vehicle, said police, and pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner. The 17-year-old female driver who collided with her, of Lindenhurst, was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip and released, said police.The investigation is continuing, and First Squad detectives ask anyone with information about the fatal crash to call 631-854-8152.
More than 7,300 civilians have been killed by Boko Haram since the beginning of 2014 in three ‘state of emergency’ States, including 1,000 people this year alone.Boko Haram is still a big security threat to the people of Nigeria even though the group has been weakened.This was said by the special representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) Mohamed Ibn Chambas during a security council meeting that the militants continue to commit horrendous acts against civilians, including against women and children.He was addressing the 15-member body on the impact of Boko Haram in Nigeria and beyond warning of the group’s intensified violence and brutality at a meeting which was convened on Monday to discuss threats to international peace and security caused by terrorism.Chambas pointed out that Boko Haram’s recent allegiance to the Islamic State for Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), whether for publicity reasons or to tap into ISIL’s support, is also of concern as it is gives a clear signal that Boko Haram’s agenda goes well beyond NigeriaMr. Chambas, who was joined in the Council by Assistant Secretary-General Kyung Wha-Kang of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, outlined reports of the abduction, abuse, recruiting, maiming and killing of children.He said schools in the country’s north-east and in areas of Cameroon and Niger targeted by Boko Haram no longer safe places of learning, with many attacked, looted, and destroyed.“In 2014, the group also commenced using young girls as suicide bombers for attacks in populated urban areas,” he said. “We have also observed an alarming trend of children being used by the group as human shields.”Humanitarian crisisMs Kang described the humanitarian needs arising from Boko Haram attacks, saying that more than 7,300 civilians had been killed by Boko Haram since the beginning of 2014 in the three ‘state of emergency’ States, including 1,000 people this year alone.As many as three million people in northern Nigeria would not be able to meet their basic food needs after July 2015 without humanitarian aid and the work of Federal and State authorities was not enough to meet those needs.“The humanitarian situation in north-east Nigeria and in the conflict-affected areas in neighboring countries remains dire,” said Ms. Kang.“The conflict continues to have a devastating impact on women, children and young people, as well as on many others who have been traumatized by violence. Additional funding to address the acute humanitarian needs of those affected by the conflict is urgently needed.”She said Boko Haram’s activities had created tens of thousands of refugees, returnees and internally displaced people in Chad, Cameroon and Niger, with schools and health services badly affected, and frequent reports of gross human rights violations.Mr. Chambas stressed the issue of human rights abuses, pointing to evaluation missions launched by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) that visited the Far North region of Cameroon and the Diffa region of Niger.Both found human rights abuses, including indiscriminate killing of civilians, abductions and forcible recruitment of civilians into combat.
“We were bad, honestly,” Rivers said. “We didn’t play very good defense tonight.”The Clippers did play Wednesday, the eighth and final day of the five-game trip. The legs may not quite have been there, Rivers said. “I didn’t think anybody played super, to me, on our team,” said Rivers, whose team will next play the Lakers on Sunday. “I thought we wanted to. I thought a lot of our shots were short. … We ran out of miracles.”The Clippers shot a respectable 42.9 percent from the field, but just 22.2 percent (6 of 27) from 3-point range.Rivers was asked about an hour-and-a-half before tip-off if his players appear to have a magical playoff run in them based on what they have done since Feb. 23, when they beat Oklahoma City to begin the 17 of 19 run. He seemed to not want to really go there because this is the regular season and the post-season is another animal.“Oh, I don’t know, I’ll let you talk about that stuff,” he said. “I have no clue. I just think we’re a good team and we have to be a better team in the playoffs. I don’t buy into that fate stuff.”It’s not fate if the team is doing what it’s doing, Rivers was reminded.“Just because we did it last night, that doesn’t impress Dallas tonight,” he said. “Whoever we play in the first round (of the playoffs), they’re not going to be talking about it. But what it does for us, I guess, is we believe when you’re down that you can still win a game.“That’s the way you should be anyway. But I think you’ve got to have it a couple of times and we’ve done that a couple of times, and I think that does help our psyche.” Dirk Nowitzki made two free throws with 17.9 seconds left and then Shawn Marion followed that with two of his own to seal the Clippers’ fate.Blake Griffin led L.A. (54-23) with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Collison scored 22 points, DeAndre Jordan had 21 points and 15 rebounds and Chris Paul scored 17 points and doled out nine assists. Redick had 12 points off the bench in his first game in two months.Nowitzki scored 26 points for Dallas, Jose Calderon had 19 and Vince Carter 16. Dallas (45-31) entered the game in a three-way tie with Phoenix and Memphis for seventh place in the Western Conference standings with time winding down in the regular season. What really stuck out to Rivers was the defense, or lack of, by his team. Dallas shot 50 percent from the field and 48.3 (14 of 29) from 3-point range. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Clippers are having an extraordinary season. Ahead of Thursday’s game against the visiting Dallas Mavericks, they had won 17 of 19 and four of five on their just-concluded road trip.Clippers coach Doc Rivers tried to downplay all that success just a bit before the game began, basically saying it may not mean much once the playoffs arrive. His team then went out and showed it is human when it could not make another comeback like the one it made in Wednesday’s victory at Phoenix.The game was tied 89-89 with 8:44 to play, but the Mavericks — a team hungry to secure a playoff berth — went on a 10-0 run and defeated the Clippers 113-107 before a sellout crowd of 19,222.The Clippers (54-23) almost had another amazing comeback, however. Trailing 109-97 with about three minutes to play, they outscored the Mavericks (45-31) 10-0 to pull within 109-107. The crowd was going wild. That was as close as they would get, though, as both J.J. Redick and Darren Collison missed shots that would have either tied the game or put the Clippers ahead.