Dually Noted from around the web

February 6, 2015 § 1 Comment

Articles, commentary, research, and more from the past week

Baker calls for MassHealth overhaul and spending cuts
Addressing the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce this week, MA Governor Charlie Baker made an overhaul of MassHealth an early priority of his new administration. Among MassHealth’s problems, Baker said, is “double dipping.” He said many individuals are double-enrolled in MassHealth and private insurance plans, and the state must find those people and remove them from the program.

Earlier this week, Baker proposed $168 million in spending reductions for MassHealth to address the state’s $768 million budget deficit. His plan calls for cuts to MassHealth’s administration and benefits along with “revenue optimizations.” Baker says the cuts would not affect spending required by the Affordable Care Act and that services for individuals receiving health assistance would not be altered.

New regulations let frail elders stay in assisted living facilities
Under updated MA regulations, frail elders will be allowed to remain in assisted living facilities instead of being moved to more costly nursing homes. The regulations, which were backed by elder advocates, also “mandate expanded training for facility workers and require detailed emergency evacuation plans.” At present, some 14,000 state residents live in assisted living facilities.

How to choose a healthcare proxy
More and more states are making healthcare proxies a requirement, but simply naming a proxy is not enough to ensure effective long-term care planning. According to Angelo E. Volandes, M.D., author of The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care, proxies must understand an individual’s values and wishes, be willing to act on those wishes even when others disagree, and live close to the person’s long-term stay facility so they can be available to help when needed.

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