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Muskie School to host “The Future of Medicaid” colloquium in Augusta

 PORTLAND—Medicaid’s role in our health care system and its costs to the state and federal budget have long been debated. Whether or not states expand their Medicaid programs, as provided for under the Affordable Care Act, issues about the program’s costs remain.

On Friday, November 22, at 9 a.m., the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine will address this issue with its fourth health policy colloquium “The Future of Medicaid: Building Sustainability through Program Innovation.” The event will be held at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta, Maine. Registration is strongly encouraged.

The colloquium will feature a keynote address by Diane Rowland, executive vice president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and executive director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured; a panel discussion with state health policy experts and Maine legislators and public officials; and a summary of MaineCare’s cost drivers.

 Rowland is a nationally recognized health policy expert with a distinguished career in public policy and research focusing on health insurance coverage, access to care, and health care financing for low-income, elderly, and disabled populations. She has directed the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured since 1991 and overseen the foundation’s health policy work on Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, HIV, women’s health policy, and disparities since 1993. Rowland currently serves as the chair of the congressionally authorized Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC).

Following Rowland’s remarks, Muskie School researchers will summarize MaineCare’s cost drivers. Senate Minority Leader Roger Katz and Representative Drew Gattine, a member of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee, will join Rowland for a discussion and audience questions.

A panel discussion focused on emerging initiatives to manage Medicaid more efficiently and effectively will follow. The panel will feature Lilia Teninty, senior policy specialist with the Health Services Research Institute. A national expert in innovations aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of programs serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, she will describe innovative approaches being advanced in other states and the evidence that drives those approaches.

Andy Allison, director of the Arkansas Division of Medical Services, will discuss Arkansas’ Payment Improvement Initiative through which fee for service Medicaid has targeted certain high- cost episodes of care, established evidenced based benchmarks with providers, and put those providers at risk for managing care to meet benchmarks.

Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew will close the panel with a discussion of Maine’s significant work to address program efficiency and respond to innovations presented from other states.

 For more information on the key issues and challenges states face, view the policy brief developed for the colloquium.

The Future of Medicaid: Building Sustainability through Program Innovation” is supported in part by the Maine Community Foundation. For more information and to register, call 207-780-4846.