New program to develop strategies for Medicaid/Medicare dual eligibility

first_imgAs 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 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 is external).Source: Governor’s officeVermont Resources:For details about the Choices fro Care Waiver, please refer to is external)…).For details about he Global commitment waiver, please refer to: is external)…)last_img read more

SU’s Alexander preps for toughest test of season in Ohio State’s Lavender

first_img Comments Quentin Hillsman’s answer was less than definitive. When asked whether Kayla Alexander is ready to take on Ohio State’s two-time All-American center on Saturday, the Syracuse women’s basketball coach wasn’t entirely certain. ‘I think she is,’ Hillsman said. But he couldn’t say for sure. Saturday the Orange (7-0) and certainly Alexander will face their toughest test of the season in the No. 6 Buckeyes. All eyes will be on the matchup at center between OSU’s (7-0) Jantel Lavender and sophomore center Alexander for SU. Early on this season, Alexander has done nothing but dominate opponents to the tune of 16 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. But she hasn’t faced anyone quite like Lavender, who is the three-time reigning Big Ten Player of the Year. For the first time all season, Alexander will face someone who can match her 6-foot-4-inch frame. For the first time all season, she is not the more talented center on the floor. No longer will she face an opponent three and four inches shorter than her like she did against Delaware State and Cornell.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 10, 2010 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: | @Michael_Cohen13 ‘I’m going to have to go out there and play tough,’ Alexander said. ‘I have to play good defense and try to stay in the game.’ And perhaps that truly is the key for Syracuse. Last season, as a freshman, Alexander struggled against the Big East’s most talented center. In a 36-point loss to Connecticut in the Big East tournament, Alexander picked up four fouls in 22 minutes. On the other side of the court, UConn’s Tina Charles went off for 34 points on 16-of-19 shooting from the field. Alexander shot only 3-of-9. The other meeting between the two teams saw a 21-point UConn win in which Alexander scored just six points. ‘(We need to make sure) we’re not putting her in a position where she is down there on an island by herself guarding a first-team All-American,’ Hillsman said. ‘We’re going to play team defense and make sure that when (Lavender) touches it, that we put ourselves in position to where we are able to help her out.’ So far this season, it doesn’t matter what defensive scheme Lavender has faced. Through seven games she’s averaging 25.7 points per game and 10.4 rebounds per game. Lavender is coming off a 32-point performance against Oklahoma, a team ranked in the top 15 in the country. Last season, she had four games of 30 points or more. ‘We have to find a way to make her a little uncomfortable when she does catch it and try to keep the ball out of her hands initially,’ Hillsman said. One way Hillsman said his team can make Lavender feel uncomfortable is by making her work on the defensive end of the floor. All season long, SU has looked inside to Alexander on nearly every possession at the start of games. Hillsman said a game like this should be no different. In fact, that should be an even larger focus, he said, and perhaps Lavender will pick up some early fouls. Although Hillsman said he thinks the Lavender and Alexander will cancel each other out with fouls, Saturday’s game might well be decided by which interior player can stay on the floor longer. If it’s Lavender, Syracuse will have to turn to its guards to pick up the bulk of the scoring. In some respects, though, this isn’t so bad for the Orange. In the meeting between OSU and Syracuse two years ago which the Buckeyes won 78-71 in Columbus SU’s Erica Morrow had a huge game. Her 23 points lead the Orange on a night when all-time leading scorer Nicole Michael was held in check. ‘These are the games you look back on once you’re older,’ Morrow said. ‘These are all the type of games that you want to reminisce on.’ If the Orange wants to avenge that loss, Hillsman said the team needs to come through in the game’s closing moments. That loss saw Syracuse miss eight of its final 13 shot attempts and go 1-for-4 from the free-throw line over the final five minutes. This year, that can’t happen. The Orange needs a consistent scoring option to go to if the game is tight down the stretch. In other words, Alexander needs to be on the floor. ‘We’re going to do like we’ve been doing,’ Hillsman said. ‘(And that mans) throwing the ball inside to Kayla and letting her play. ‘We know that we can put her in positions where she can be successful in this basketball game.’ Mjcohe02@syr.edulast_img read more

I thought Hoffenheim move would take me closer to the Premier League – Afriyie Acquah

first_imgGhana international Afriyie Acquah has opened up about his shock transfer to the Bundesliga from Parma back in 2013. The energetic midfielder left Parma for German side Hoffenhiem back in 2013 – a move which came as a shock to many, considering how well he had settled into life in the Italian Serie A. His time in the Bundesliga, however wasn’t as memorable, as he struggled for form and playing time, before eventually returning to Parma.According to Acquah, the lure of the Premier League was the main driving force behind that switch to Germany. “The Hoffenheim deal came too early for me. January transfers are hard. It’s rare for players to do well when they are signed in the winter window, he he told “I was also in the form of my life in Parma. I had even earned another call up to the Black Stars and scored my first goal against Malawi. “Roberto Donadoni -who was then the coach of Parma did not want me to leave. We were doing well and were in the top half of the league at the time. “I opted to leave because I was convinced it was going to be a good stepping stone to the Premier League,” added. The 28 year old now plies his trade in Turkey with  Yeni Malatyaspor. He has made 26 appearances so far this season, scoring 1 goal and providing 3 assists.last_img read more

How the Lakers’ deliberative approach in free agency secured Caldwell-Pope

first_img“I see you and Magic have been really careful with your space and being patient,” Let’s talk,” Paul texted to Pelinka.“It’s like a lightning bolt hit us,” Pelinka said. “This has to be our focus. We have to find a way.”So, the Lakers kept in touch frequently with Paul. They watched more game film, which showed Caldwell-Pope often defending the opposing team’s best player. They found analytics that showed Caldwell-Pope was among the best players in dribble handoffs.“What he’ll do for this team I think as a leader and with his basketball skills is going to be critical for what we’re building,” Pelinka said. “We’re so grateful for that.”Caldwell-Pope sounded just as grateful, saying “it’s a blessing sitting next to a legend” in Johnson. He said “it’s a blessing to sit next to our new signed free agent, KCP.”“My team prepared me well,” Caldwell-Pope said. “I felt like we made the best decision.”The Lakers feel the same way.AlsoPelinka said the Lakers plan to complete their roster in “one or two weeks.” Among the options at backup point guard include Ian Clark and Tyler Ennis, according to league sources.Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball had an MRI on Tuesday that confirmed a mild calf strain in his right leg, an injury that kept him out of Monday’s Summer League championship win. Ball plans to rest for the next one or two weeks, a period most NBA players rest anyway. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“Just being patient and understanding we didn’t have to spend the cap space,” Johnson said. “But if we were going to spend the cap space, make sure it was a special player and a player that can really bring something we didn’t have already. KCP is that guy.”Johnson called Caldwell-Pope a “special two-guard” before gushing about his high basketball IQ, his toughness and his ability to play at point guard, shooting guard and small forward on both offense and defense. Johnson also likened Caldwell-Pope to his former Showtime teammate, Michael Cooper, a versatile forward known for both defending the opposing team’s best player and nailing outside shots.The Lakers had considered options. They had met with guards George Hill and Dion Waiters before they chose elsewhere because they attracted multi-year deals. But with the Lakers set on keeping cap space available next season when LeBron James, Paul George and Russell Westbrook could become free agents, the Lakers refused to settle.“It’s not just what you say yes to, it’s also who you say no to,” Pelinka said. “When you’re a team with cap space, a lot of stuff is being presented and flashed to you. At the time, it might look alluring. But you have to have patience and you have to be deliberate. You have to stay in touch with the agent community in terms of the free agents they have.”One of those agents was Rich Paul, who represents both Caldwell-Pope and James. Paul texted Pelinka during free agency, impressed with the team’s insistence on making moves to their own timeline. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img EL SEGUNDO >> The gratitude seemed apparent both through their words and body language.Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka flashed infectious smiles on Tuesday as they sat next to shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Johnson considered Caldwell-Pope “a steal” after signing him to a one-year, $18 million deal. Pelinka considered it a “special day” to have Caldwell-Pope’s introductory news conference at the Lakers’ practice facility.Pelinka later said that he and Johnson “could not tailor stitch more of a perfect two guard” because of Caldwell-Pope’s defensive versatility, his outside shooting (35 percent last season with Detroit) and mentorship presence.Usually, NBA teams move heaven and earth to make such moves possible. So it seemed fitting Pelinka quoted the book of Genesis, likening Caldwell-Pope’s signing to “Israelites wandering from desert and then bread came down from heaven.” Yet, Caldwell-Pope became a potential savior more because the Lakers spent the beginning of free agency on the sidelines.last_img read more