Tennessee will implement a 2-year pilot to improve medication adherence and effectiveness for Medicaid beneficiaries; implementing work requirements in Virginia's Medicaid program could cost $100 million by the second year, according to an analysis; the Flint water crisis has officially been linked to a Legionnaires outbreak that took place in 2014 and 2015.
Under a 2-year pilot, pharmacists in Tennessee will work with Medicaid beneficiaries to improve medication adherence and effectiveness. CMS approved the state to launch the program, which will target Medicaid patients in a patient-centered medical home program, reported Modern Healthcare. Providers will work with qualified pharmacists to ensure medications are appropriate, safe given a patient’s comorbidities, and taken as prescribed. Under the pilot, as many as 300,000 individuals could see their care change.
Democratic Governor Ralph Northam has released an analysis that implementing a work requirement in Virginia’s Medicaid program could cost $100 million in the second year of the budget. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the costs would come from preparing people for employment and providing them with support services. However, the House speaker, a Republican, claimed the costs in the analysis, which was based on a welfare-to-work program established 20 years ago, was inaccurate.
An outbreak of Legionnaires disease in 2014 and 2015 in Flint, Michigan, that killed 12 people and sickened at least 87 is now being linked to the water crisis that resulted in residents not having access to clean water. NPR reported that the outbreak was caused by low chlorine levels in the water system. Legionnaires is caused by a bacterium that grows in the water and is contracted that way, rather than being passed person to person. Typically, the Flint area saw 6 to 12 cases a year, but during the water crisis, it jumped to about 45 cases a year.