Health care providers, policy makers, regulators and people interested in health reform spoke out and listened during a public forum on the State of Health Care Reform in the District of Columbia presented by AARP District of Columbia and the DC Primary Care Association on May 20.
The District’s progress toward implementing the new health care reform law (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) has necessarily been affected by the mayoral election and the staffing process which followed.
However, with leadership positions filled in the Department of Health Care Finance, Department of Policy and Planning as well as in the Department of Insurance Securities and Banking, a new infrastructure is taking shape to implement health reform in the District. AARP DC is represented on two subcommittees responsible for implementing the health reform law, and looks forward to continuing to contribute to the process on behalf of the District’s age 50+residents.
AARP is promoting a couple of programs which could have a positive impact on home and community based services in DC.
One is the federal Community First Choice program. Via a Medicaid State Plan amendment, the District could receive a six percent increase in federal pay for personal care services and limit a 50% proposed cut to service hours. Another federal program, Health Homes, offers 90 percent reimbursement for services to people with certain chronic medical conditions. These federal funds could replace most of the state resources currently dedicated to such care. AARP will continue to work with District leaders to produce a full analysis of Community First Choice and Health Homes.