The State of Vermont released a request for proposals from qualified vendors to assist the State of Vermont in conducting a comprehensive review of the State’s Health-IT Fund, Health Information Technology planning, and Vermont Information Technology Leaders (Vermont’s HIE vendor, who is written into statute). The State requires the vendor to develop a report on this evaluation which we will present as a report to the Vermont State Legislature no later than November 15, 2017.

 If you are interested in this opportunity, please follow the link: http://dvha.vermont.gov/administration/hit-evaluation-services-final.pdf.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 21, 2017

Contact: Jennifer Rosinski

508-421-5869

Jennifer.rosinski@umassmed.edu

NESCSO and Myers and Stauffer LC survey finds $10.59 is median cost of dispensing medications to Medicaid beneficiaries in New England

 SHREWSBURY, Mass. – A recent survey of New England pharmacies found the median cost to dispense one prescription to a Medicaid beneficiary is $10.59. The survey was completed by the New England States Consortium Systems Organization (NESCSO), a nonprofit organized by the health and human service agencies of the New England states and UMass Medical School, in partnership with the accounting firm of Myers and Stauffer LC.

State Medicaid agencies have been directed by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to review the way they pay pharmacies for dispensing medications. New rules released in January 2016 require states to adopt fee-for-service pharmacy payment policies designed to pay pharmacies for the cost of acquiring the drugs as well as an additional professional dispensing fee. The survey results will help each state Medicaid program determine an appropriate professional dispensing fee.

“I am grateful for the effort undertaken by NESCSO to procure a vendor to conduct the cost of dispensing survey for my state and the New England region as a whole,” said Herman Kranc, RPh, medical administration manager, Division of Health Services for the Connecticut Department of Social Services. “The process was organized and efficient, providing a high level of value for my state.”

Efforts to promote survey participation and pharmacy cooperation led to an overall survey response rate of 71.8 percent. Surveys were distributed to approximately 2,900 Medicaid-enrolled pharmacies across New England in early September 2016.

Myers and Stauffer reviewed completed surveys to ensure completeness, accuracy and reasonableness. The average cost of dispensing per prescription for each pharmacy was calculated using appropriate accounting standards. The $10.59 per prescription is the median value, weighted by Medicaid prescription volume.

A comprehensive report detailing the survey methodology as well as regional and state-specific averages for the cost of dispensing prescriptions was provided to NESCSO and member states.

This joint effort of New England states is the first of its kind in the nation. Undertaking a regional survey allows states to save money and time, and provides comparable data.

“I was pleased with how the project was able to move forward in a timely manner given that each of the six states has their own perspectives and needs,” said Margaret A. Clifford, RPh, pharmacy director, Office of Medicaid Services, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

Read the final regional report here: new_england_2016_cod_report_final

About NESCSO

The New England States Consortium Systems Organization (NESCSO) is a non-profit corporation organized by the New England state health and human service (HHS) agencies and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. NESCSO’s Board is composed of the member states’ HHS secretaries or their designees. NESCSO’s mission is to foster communication and collaboration among its members through information sharing and joint projects. NESCSO seeks to support the needs of the state HHS Secretaries by providing a framework for knowledge exchange in order to maximize policy, program and cost effectiveness.

Annually NESCSO convenes the Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference and markets “MAGI in the cloud” for states to use in determining income eligibility under the Affordable Care Act.

 

About Myers and Stauffer LC

Myers and Stauffer LC is a Certified Public Accounting firm with 18 offices nationwide and over 700 employees. The firm is strongly focused on assisting government health care agencies with audit, rate-setting, program integrity, consulting and other support services. Since the late 1970’s, Myers and Stauffer has performed over 100 Medicaid pharmacy cost of dispensing surveys in more than 20 states. The firm is also a leader in assisting state Medicaid programs with pharmacy reimbursement based on actual acquisition cost. In addition to working with state Medicaid programs directly on actual acquisition cost reimbursement, Myers and Stauffer has been the contractor to CMS since 2011 to develop and maintain the National Average Drug Acquisition Cost (NADAC) benchmark.

 

About the University of Massachusetts Medical School

The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of five campuses of the University system, is comprised of the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Graduate School of Nursing, a thriving research enterprise and an innovative public service initiative, Commonwealth Medicine. Its mission is to advance the health of the people of the Commonwealth through pioneering education, research, public service and health care delivery with its clinical partner, UMass Memorial Health Care. In doing so, it has built a reputation as a world-class research institution and as a leader in primary care education. The Medical School attracts more than $249 million annually in research funding, placing it among the top 50 medical schools in the nation. Commonwealth Medicine provides a wide range of care management and consulting services to government agencies and health care organizations.

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About NESCSO:

The New England States Consortium Systems Organization (NESCSO) is a non-profit corporation organized by the New England state health and human service (HHS) agencies and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. NESCSO’s Board is composed of the member states’ HHS secretaries or their designees. NESCSO’s mission is to foster communication and collaboration among its members through information sharing and joint projects. NESCSO seeks to support the needs of the state HHS Secretaries by providing a framework for knowledge exchange in order to maximize policy, program and cost effectiveness.

Functional Title: Information Technology Specialist

Employment Relationship: Contractor

Scope of Work/Position Overview:  This is a part-time position, requiring approximately 30-60 hours per month.  Work may be performed at a remote location with minimal on-site presence needed.

One of NESCSO’s primary focus areas is to support State Health and Human Service agencies procure and implement information technology efficiently and effectively.  We pursue this goal through several initiatives, including organizing the annual Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference, supporting State access and use of the open-source MAGI in the Cloud tool, and partnering with CMS and Leavitt Partners in the Medicaid Technology Alliance, a public/private collaboration to accelerate State use of modular approaches.

NESCSO is seeking an individual or individuals with expertise in technology approaches and solutions that State Health and Human Service agencies need to adopt to ensure the information systems they are purchasing support their business needs.  The IT Specialist will be the technical lead on multi-State procurements for a variety of tools to support States.  Expertise in drafting Requests for Proposals, developing concepts for Advance Planning Documents, evaluating available technologies, and supporting State compliance with CMS requirements is needed.

Preferred Qualifications:

  1. MS or BS Degree in Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Information Systems or related field
  2. Five (5) or more years’ experience in publicly-funded health and human service information technology solutions and systems implementations.
  3. Excellent organizational skills and be self-motivated.
  4. A high level of analytical skills to resolve problems that require the use of basic scientific, mathematical, and technical principals.
  5. Must possess good interpersonal and customer service skills.
  6. Primary consideration will be given to candidates with knowledge and experience in Medicaid Management Information Systems or Medicaid Eligibility Systems.

Compensation: Compensation varies depending upon the project, scope or work and qualifications required for the position.

Review of resumes/CVs will begin immediately and the position will remain open until filled.

For additional information about NESCSO or this opportunity please contact David Huffman at David.Huffman@umassmed.edu

In the last few years, hospitals have had to respond to changes in the health care environment. Some of the challenges they’ve faced involve adjustments in Medicare policy, lower rates of uncompensated care, greater experimentation with provider payment reforms by public and private payers, and innovations enabling the delivery of care in ambulatory settings.

To better understand these trends and the changing roles of hospitals, the Milbank Memorial Fund and the New England States Consortium Systems Organization sponsored a one-day forum in October 2016 that brought together state health policy leaders from across New England.

This issue brief was written by Gary Young, JD, PhD, of Northeastern University, who gave a presentation at the conference on the changing environment of hospitals. The brief looks at the ways the Affordable Care Act sought to change hospitals, how hospitals are responding to these pressures, and how state governments can ensure those responses are consistent with efforts to improve population health and health care value.

Hospitals in the Post-ACA Era: Impacts and Responses Issue Brief

 

As part of its commitment to supporting New England Health and Human Service agencies, NESCSO is sponsoring this two-day training opportunity in partnership with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The training will be provided by experts in the field from CMS and three of our region’s public universities: the University of Massachusetts Medical School; the University of Southern Maine; and the University of New Hampshire.

Audience: The training is open to State program executives, managers, attorneys, analysts, and other staff from Health and Human Services agencies including Medicaid, Elder Services and Developmental Disabilities Services that are involved in policy development and operations for Medicaid-funded long-term care.

Curriculum: Over the course of the training, university and CMS experts will deliver content and facilitate discussions related to Medicaid long-term services and supports including eligibility, services, and delivery systems. For the purposes of the training, LTSS refers to the diverse range of Medicaid-funded services provided to support the well-being of people across the whole continuum of care from community-based interventions to institutional care. This training will include the opportunity for participants to have state-specific issues addressed by the experts as well as ample time for information sharing between states.

Sponsorship: NESCSO will cover travel and lodging expenses for up to 5 staff from each state to attend the training.

Location and Timing: The training will be held beginning at 10:00 a.m. on June 14th and running through to 3:30 p.m. on June 15th.  The training will be at the Hilton Garden Inn Worcester, 35 Major Taylor Blvd., Worcester, MA 01608. Driving Directions

Click Here for the Travel Reimbursement Forms:

nescso-nonemployee-travel-reimbursement-form-ltss-june-2017

umw-9-2017

Should you have any questions please contact Patricia McKnight at 978.621.0282 or patricia_mcknight@yahoo.com

In this Issue

This month’s newsletter is divided into three main areas: The State’s Corner, Cohort Recap, and MITA Governance Board.

Know others who may be interested? The MMIS Newsletter distribution list continues to grow, and we would love to add even more. To be added to the distribution list, click here. If you have general feedback, questions, or would like to contribute future news articles, please send your email to the MMIS program mailbox: MMIS_MES_Certification@cms.hhs.gov

Click here for the full newsletter: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USCMSMEDICAID/bulletins/17ad76c

The historic Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health will be officially released on Thursday November 17th during an event in Los Angeles.  This is the first-ever full SG report on substance misuse.

SAMHSA colleagues led the creation/content of the report, and the SG’s office has authorized us to provide you with the attached flyer and this powerful short teaser video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3Q4FNar-PM&feature=youtu.be.

Addiction is a major public health crisis in America, but we have the tools to end this crisis. Learn more about how we can face addiction in America from U.S. Surgeon General’s new landmark report on alcohol, drugs, and health. http://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/ #FacingAddiction

Join the release of landmark Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs & Health on November 17th at 4:00 pm ET at http://bit.ly/2fRCiU3 #FacingAddiction

 

On behalf of NESCSO and its member states, the University of Massachusetts is soliciting responses from entities that offer software tools to facilitate the review of bank and other financial documents for the purpose of helping states assess a person’s eligibility for Medicaid-Funded Long-Term Services and Supports.  Through this RFI, the University is seeking information from entities with experience automating the review of bank and financial documents.

Please follow the link to the online posting: https://www.commbuys.com/bso/external/bidDetail.sdo?docId=BD-17-1109-UMMS-UMMS-10487&external=true&parentUrl=bid

About NESCSO

The New England States Consortium Systems Organization (NESCSO) is a non-profit corporation organized by the New England state health and human service (HHS) agencies and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. NESCSO’s Board is composed of the member states’ HHS secretaries or their designees. NESCSO’s mission is to foster communication and collaboration among its members through information sharing and joint projects. NESCSO seeks to support the needs of the state HHS Secretaries by providing a framework for knowledge exchange in order to maximize policy, program and cost effectiveness.

Annually NESCSO convenes the Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference and markets “MAGI in the cloud” for states to use in determining income eligibility under the Affordable Care Act.

 About the University of Massachusetts Medical School

The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of five campuses of the University system, is comprised of the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Graduate School of Nursing, a thriving research enterprise and an innovative public service initiative, Commonwealth Medicine. Its mission is to advance the health of the people of the Commonwealth through pioneering education, research, public service and health care delivery with its clinical partner, UMass Memorial Health Care. In doing so, it has built a reputation as a world-class research institution and as a leader in primary care education. The Medical School attracts more than $249 million annually in research funding, placing it among the top 50 medical schools in the nation. Commonwealth Medicine provides a wide range of care management and consulting services to government agencies and health care organizations.

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