Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Cost of SB 2518: Report from EOHHS

SN 2518 is still moving through the legislative process;  I was encouraged to see that EOHHS's Division of Health Care Finance and Policy released their analysis of the bill's impact on the Commonwealth recently (click here to see the report)  The report bodes well for the future of collateral services. To wit:
After reviewing the literature and other available sources of information, the only payer identified currently covering collateral services for children was MassHealth managed care. (MassHealth is the name for the Medicaid program in the Commonwealth.). In order to estimate the impact of mandating collateral services on the commercial population, the ratio of per member collateral services spending to per member children’s behavioral health spending in the MassHealth population was applied to the per member spending on children’s behavioral health in the commercial population. This estimate was adjusted upward to reflect higher fees in the commercial sector. Low, middle, and high scenarios were computed to address the uncertainty stemming from the application of Medicaid utilization to the commercial population.
Exhibit 1 displays the projected impacts for the years 2008-2012 for three scenarios. Over the five year period, the mid-scenario impact averages approximately $1.5 million per year, which is 5 ½ cents per member per month, or about 0.01% of premium.
I hope that this sort of positive report makes our legislators even more willing to get this bill through the legislature and to the governor's desk for signature.  It may not solve all of the problems, but it is a really good start.

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