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What We're Reading: Kidney Care Payment Changes; Hospice Deficiencies; Medi-Cal Enrollment Lags

AJMC Staff
The Trump administration is expected to unveil a series of initiatives on Wednesday, including new payment models to overhaul kidney disease care; a report from the inspector general of HHS found widespread hospice deficiencies; the number of undocumented immigrant children in California’s Medicaid program is slowly declining even as the state prepares to expand coverage to undocumented young adults.

HHS Reportedly Planning Major Shift in Paying for Kidney Disease Care

The Trump administration is expected to unveil a series of initiatives on Wednesday, including new payment models to overhaul kidney disease care, Politico reported. The move is intended to transform and encourage home dialysis, prevention, and screening. The changes are expected to be announced in a speech by the president, who may also consider an executive order. HHS will announce new payment models intended to shift treatment from standalone clinics, arguing that receiving dialysis at home is both safer for patients and more cost-effective. The federal government spends more than $100 billion per year on kidney disease.



OIG Report Finds Widespread Deficiencies in Hospice Care

A report about hospice deficiencies from the HHS’ Office of the Inspector General found that from 2012 through 2016, 20% had lapses serious enough to endanger patients, and 87% overall had deficiencies. Options CMS has for disciplining hospices are few, NPR reported.



Enrollment of Undocumented Children in Medi-Cal Lags or Falls 

The number of undocumented immigrant children in California’s Medicaid program is slowly declining even as the state prepares to expand coverage to undocumented young adults, California Healthline reported. Unauthorized immigrant children have been eligible for Medi-Cal since May 2016, and their enrollment peaked nearly a year later at 134,374, according to state data. Since then, enrollment has lagged or fallen. Anti-immigrant rhetoric and federal crackdowns could be creating fear among families that keeps them from enrolling, or there could be a shift in migration patterns, some policy experts say.

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