Friday, March 16, 2007

PMPC's "Faces of PA Medicaid Program"

On March 14, 2007, the Pennsylvania Medicaid Policy Center (PMPC) issued a 24-page report entitled "Faces of the Pennsylvania Medicaid Program". The Report is described as "an easy-to-understand and comprehensive look at the structure and reach of the Medicaid program in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania." The Report is available here (PDF format).

The Report was announced in a Press Release, dated March 14, 2007, which I initially found online here, and which is also posted officially here.

According to its website, PMPC is an independent, non-partisan source of information and analysis about Pennsylvania Medical Assistance.

PMPC's mission is to increase the general understanding of the Medicaid program among the administrative and legislative branches of the government, as well as community groups, health care providers and other stakeholders of the Medicaid program.

The PMPC seeks to show the critical role that Medicaid plays in the Pennsylvania health care system and economy, while incorporating a strategic long term vision.
It addresses its mission by these activities:
  • Develops cutting-edge Medicaid policy reports, fact sheets, newsletters and forums.
  • Presents data related to Pennsylvania Medicaid, including at the county level.
  • Provides Medicaid resources, such as news articles, links, legislative history, charts and graphs.
PMPC offers just such information & data on its website through links such as these:


Pennsylvania Data



It is through such resources that PMPC hopes to achieve its public objective, according to Dr. Judith R. Lave, Ph.D., who serves as PMPC's Director and also as the Chair of the Department of Health Policy & Management, Graduate School of Public Health, at the University of Pittsburgh: "Our hope is that anyone with a question about the Pennsylvania Medicaid program will visit our Web site whenever they need more in-depth information about the program or are considering policies that affect it."

The subject of the report is the administration of the federal Medicaid health insurance program in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Press Release notes that this Program serves the nation’s most vulnerable citizens -- such as children, pregnant women, individuals with disabilities, and seniors -- and also pays for medical & long-term care for eligible low-income American citizens & legal immigrants.

In 2006, there were 1,833,769 Medicaid recipients in Pennsylvania in the average month. The total cost of the program last year was $16.6 billion.

Since Medicaid is partially funded and administered by each state, the structure and reach of the program differs widely. In Pennsylvania, Medicaid-covered health care is available through about 68,000 providers, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, physicians and dentists.

The Press Release described the Report, as follows:
Faces of the Pennsylvania Medicaid Program provides key national and state data on Medicaid compiled from multiple sources, including the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. It also includes a county-by-county look at the number and type of people covered as well as quotes from some of those people describing their experiences with Medicaid. * * *

is the first of many publications that will be published by the PMPC, which was recently established at GSPH with support from private nonprofits and foundations as an independent source of information and analysis about Pennsylvania Medical Assistance. The PMPC, thus, will play an important role in informing policy discussions about the role of Medicaid in providing health care in Pennsylvania.
The Report notes that future publications will focus on issues involving Medicaid in Pennsylvania, such as:
  • the importance of Medicaid for certain categories of providers in the Commonwealth;
  • the distribution of births funded by Medical Assistance across the counties;
  • initiatives by other states to modify the behaviors of Medicaid recipients in order to promote healthy behaviors;
  • approaches for reallocating resources in the long-term care sector towards home and community-based services and away from nursing homes; and
  • the fiscal implications of Medical Assistance for the state budget.
This first Report issued by PMPC is a valuable resource for anyone benefiting from, advising upon, relying on, or responsible for, the Medicaid Program in Pennsylvania.