Impact of ACA on Mid-term Elections; Beneficiary and Family-Centered QIOs; and More
Kaiser Family Foundation Poll: Potential Impact of Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the Mid-term Elections
On September 9, 2014, the Kaiser Family Foundation issued its August – September 2014 Health Tracking Poll analyzing the potential impact of voter opinion of the Affordable Care Act on the November mid-term elections. The results found that health care broadly was listed by 13% of those surveyed as a top issue in deciding their vote for Congress. This includes just 3% who specifically mentioned the Affordable Care Act. Respondents named the two most important issues influencing their vote in their own words. The survey was released at a joint Kaiser Family Foundation/Cook Political Report briefing in Washington on September 9, 2014. The survey is available at: http://kff.org/health-reform/event/the-politics-of-obamacare-how-the-affordable-care-act-is-playing-in-the-midterm-elections/.
The Poll also found that public opinion on the ACA overall remains more negative than positive: 47% view the law unfavorably compared to 35% with a favorable view. The percentages among registered voters are similar, with 49% holding unfavorable views compared to 35% holding favorable views. Among likely voters the negative views increase slightly: 51% compared to 35%. Despite the higher negative opinions of the law, nearly twice as many Americans would like their Congressional representatives to focus on improving the existing law (63%) rather than repealing and replacing it with something else (33%).
Voters in the 11 states with the most competitive Senate races, as rated by The Cook Political Report, found that political campaigns focused large percentages of their advertisements on the ACA. The survey found that 72% reported seeing ads related to the health care law; 34% reported seeing more ads against the law, while only 4% reported seeing more ads in support of the law.
Working with the new Beneficiary and Family-Centered (BFCC) Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs)
As we wrote on July 17, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has restructured its quality of care review network to create two regional Quality Improvement Organizations designated as Beneficiary and Family-Centered (BFCC) Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) contractors. These contractors are to review beneficiary complaints about quality of care matters. For information on contacting the two BFCCs, including the geographic areas they cover, please review the Center’s Alert at: http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/cms-restructures-quality-improvement-organization-qio-program/. Additional information about the BFCC called LIVANTA is available at http://www.livanta.com/#!bfcc-qio/c1qro . For additional information about the BFCC called KEPRO, please see http://www.keproqio.com/.
Start-up issues have included long wait times for calls to be answered at the BFCC—QIOs, dropped calls at BFCC offices, and misplaced beneficiary complaint documents, causing delays in resolving matters that should be addressed on an expedited basis. It is hoped that some or all of the start-up issues are being resolved expeditiously. Advocates should review QIO regulations for the traditional or fee-for service Medicare program at 42 C.F.R §§405.1200 through 405.1208. See: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=7cb107d04c272ab04279e80485e01bd5&node=sp42.2.405.j&rgn=div6. For review of Medicare Advantage organizations (MA), please see 42 C.F.R. §§422.560 through 626. See: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?ID=c178972397bd8d370fe6e2be6acb7efc&node=pt42.3.422&rgn=div5#sp42.3.422.m.
Kaiser Family Foundation’s “The Role of Medicare Advantage” Infographic
This week, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a “Visualizing Health Policy Infographic” produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation that provides a snapshot of the role of the Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. The Infographic highlights the following information: the proportion of Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in MA plans; the type of MA plans individuals are enrolled in by percentage; examples of the geographic variation in MA enrollment rates (penetration) across the country; actual and projected rise in MA enrollment; the concentration of MA enrollment in a small number of insurance companies; and the average MA payment over a number of years as a percentage of Traditional Medicare spending, including the effect of the Affordable Care Act provision that reigns in MA overpayments.
The Infographic is available at: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1902237.
The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation is Accepting Applications for their Public Policy Fellowship Program for 2014 – 2015
The Foundation has announced an intensive one-year Public Policy Fellowship in Washington, D.C. for professionals and persons experiencing disability (and family members of persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities) who are working or volunteering in the field of inclusive services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The purpose of the Fellowship is to prepare early career and more seasoned leaders to assume leadership in the public policy arena in their home state and/or nationally. The application deadline for 2015 is October 30, 2014 by 5:00 p.m. EST. Applications will only be accepted online. The online application is available at: https://www.aucd.org/app/index.cfm?grant=85. For more information about the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, visit: www.jpkf.org/. Should you have any questions please contact Steven M. Eidelman – Eidelman@jpkf.org.