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Medicaid transformation in Idaho: finding solutions fitting our needs

Fundamental changes are happening in our health care system. Idaho hospitals are striving to attain better health and better care at lower cost, which will benefit all Idahoans. Syringa Hospital and Clinics (SHC) has been working to improve the system through the implementation of electronic health records and care management strategies.

This transformation may take shape differently in Idaho’s communities; however, there is overall agreement on these key components:

• There should be an overall systemic redesign of the delivery system to improve outcomes and efficiency with a focus on better health.

• Idaho should transition to a system that incentivizes value rather than volume.

• The Governor’s State Healthcare Innovation Plan is a foundation model that should be the basis for all health care transformation to assure responsible use of taxpayer and health care dollars.

The next logical step is to redesign Medicaid to incorporate more than 104,000 Idahoans who are currently left out of any health care coverage, but still cost taxpayers, businesses and those with insurance. Transforming our Medicaid system benefits Idahoans by:

• Saving $915 million over 10 years by eliminating the State Catastrophic Fund and County Indigent program, as well as realizing savings within the Department of Health and Welfare. The number in Idaho County is $400,000 annually, or $4 million over 10 years.

• Utilizing the federal tax dollars we are already paying and bringing them back from Washington D.C. to benefit Idaho.

• Offering health care coverage options for Idahoans working in low wage jobs. 84 percent of those who would have this option have at least one person in the household who is working. Those who would have access to coverage include large numbers of workers in office administration, service industries, and the construction, farming and forestry sectors.

•Enrolling Idahoans in a care management system that encourages accountability, better care coordination and more efficient use of resources.

•Creating a positive economic impact for Idaho through job growth and increased tax revenue, in addition to tax savings which would allow state resources to be redirected to areas such as education and transportation.

• Providing health care coverage that is more efficient and effective through care management.

SHC continues to work with the Idaho Hospital Association and interact with hospital leaders around the state to find solutions that fit the needs of our state and the communities we serve.

By the Idaho Hospital Association (IHA) board of directors, represented by member Joe Cladouhos, CEO, Syringa Hospital.


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