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Health-Law-Announcements's Blog

The latest health law updates for advocates and social service providers in Massachusetts.

Just wanted to send a quick note to let you know that in response to advocates' and the Legislature's advocacy efforts, EOHHS is delaying the Health Safety Net regulatory changes that were set to go into effect today until June 1st.

In addition, the amendment we had been working on with the Legislature to forestall the cuts until June 30th did not make it into the final version of the FY2016 supplemental budget.

Please join us in Boston on April 7 for another info-packed day of training on eligibility for health coverage for people under age 65 (the elder law training is coming up on April 21).

The flyer is attached. You can register on line in advance or at the door on the day of the training.

Hope to see you there!

1. New Home Health Agency Prior Authorization requirements. MassHealth has issued a transmittal letter & a provider bulletin with the following changes taking effect March 1:

  • PA is now required for home nursing for more than 30 visits in 90 day period, & more than 240 units of home health aide services in 90 day period. 130 CMR 403.413

Blowing a Hole in the Health Safety Net: EOHHS Notice of Proposed Rules

Not wasting any time, or even waiting for the beginning of the next fiscal year, the Baker Administration has come out with draft regulations at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/eohhs/eohhs-regs/hsn-613-redline.pdf  which dramatically cutback on  Health Safety Net free-care for the poor.

The Governor'€™s FY 2017 Budget Proposal: Preliminary Analysis of Selected Cash and Nutrition Assistance, Child Care, Child Welfare, Health Care, Homelessness Services, Housing, State Earned Income Tax Credit and Legal Services Items

On January 27, 2016, Governor Baker released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2017 (FY 17), which is referred to as House 2. MLRI offers this preliminary analysis of selected budget topics impacting low-income residents of the Commonwealth.

Download MLRI's preliminary analysis from this link:

Attached in English and Spanish is a notice of 4 upcoming enrollment events where people needing to apply or reapply/renew MassHealth coverage can get in-person help from MassHealth and Connector staff and certified enrollment assisters.  If your organization serves people in Worcester, Dorchester, Hyannis or Malden, please consider posting the flyer in your waiting room and/or distributing it to community groups with which you work.
 
  • Jan. 21 Worcester
  • Jan. 27 Dorchester
  • Feb 4 Hyannis

Apologies for the long post, a lot is happening in the world of eligibility and enrollment in MassHealth and ConnectorCare. As always please let Neil Cronin or Vicky Pulos at MLRI know how these changes are affecting your clients.

Four new enrollment events in Jan and Feb 2016: in person help from MassHealth and Connector staff to apply, re-apply and enroll in Worcester, Dorchester, Hyannis and Malden

Happy New Year to Health Advocates Everywhere,

We will be sending out an update on Open Enrollment, the MassHealth Renewal-Reapplication process and other developments soon.
 

Many provisions of Chapter 258, a 2014 law addressing access to substance use recovery services are taking effect in 2015.

1. An updated provider bulletin from MassHealth clarifies that pursuant to the new law, effective Oct 2015, neither MassHealth nor its managed care plans can require prior authorization for acute treatment e.g. admission to a detox facility or for clinical stabilization services . The treating clinician's judgment on medical necessity rules at least for acute care and  the 1st 14 days of clinical stabilization.

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