Dually Noted from around the web

May 29, 2015 § Leave a comment

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

A new “star rating” system for Medicaid plans?
CMS is introducing new ratings to measure the quality and performance of private health plans that provide Medicaid benefits. By looking at health outcomes and patient experiences, the new ratings may be similar to the CMS’s 5-star rating system for Medicare Advantage plans. Insurers who contract with Medicaid members, however, are hoping for a different system – one that takes into account that “people who are eligible for Medicaid benefits tend to be sicker and have more health care needs.”

How Medicare’s hospice benefit helps caregivers
Under Medicare’s hospice benefit, family caregivers “can receive grief and loss counseling for up to a year following the beneficiary’s death.” However, a recent study, Association Between Hospice Use and Depressive Symptoms in Surviving Spouses, found that “hospice services had only a modest impact on symptoms of depression in surviving spouses.” Still, an editorial related to the study endorsed hospice services, stating that they can “ease the caregiver’s burden and offer respite from tending to the spouse’s physical and emotional needs.”

MassHealth restores denture benefit
On its blog, Health Care for All celebrated MassHealth’s decision to restore coverage for dentures. In 2010, the blog points out, almost all dental benefits were eliminated for adults on MassHealth, but since then, some dental benefits have been restored, like fillings and cleanings. Stating that “oral health is overall health,” Health Care for All vows to push for complete restoration of MassHealth dental coverage for adults.


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