William Bernstein Speaks on Next Expected Steps in Health Reform

William Bernstein Speaks on Next Expected Steps in Health Reform 

"Health Reform Analysis: Action Now Moves to ACOs, HIX Deployments, Population Health"
Health Data Management

August 1, 2012 - Manatt's William Bernstein, chair of the firm's Healthcare Division, spoke to Health Data Management about how he thinks states and the federal government will proceed with health reform, since the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional on June 28.

The publication reports that the ruling will have widespread implications for health IT. Additional investments industrywide will be required to manage the continuum of care and support state insurance exchanges, and work will need to be done to implement operating rules for healthcare transactions.

Politically, the action will move to the states as they decide whether or not to expand Medicaid and implement a statewide health insurance exchange (HIX), with the feds putting in an exchange if a state declines, said Bernstein. And this will get interesting, considering 26 states sued to stop the reform law. Despite the legal action, during the past two years, 49 of 50 states and the District of Columbia have received a total of $2 billion in federal start-up funds for HIX and/or improving Medicaid management information systems to support the program's expansion.

Bernstein thinks there certainly will be political dust storms in the states, but at the end of the day, the feds are giving significant funds for HIX and Medicaid expansion and most states will accept the money. The population health management programs within Medicaid and other parts of the reform law will accelerate adoption of HIT to analyze, use and exchange data, he predicts.

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