The Checkup: How Health Care Is Changing In Maryland | WYPR

The Checkup: How Health Care Is Changing In Maryland

Tuesday Mornings at 9:00 am on Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast

Why are premiums rising for health insurance? How does the online marketplace work?  Does Maryland have enough doctors?  Join us Tuesday mornings when we tackle questions raised by the Affordable Care Act in our series, The Checkup: How Health Care Is Changing in Maryland.

The Checkup is made possible by CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, The Baltimore Association of Health Underwriters, and Healthcare Access Maryland.

Alin S / Flickr / Creative Commons

Welcome back to The Checkup, our weekly series on how health care is changing in Maryland. This is our final segment in the series. For seven months, we’ve dug into the details of the Affordable Care Act. How have specific groups of people have been affected by it? Who has and has not been able to get access to insurance through it? How have different components of the health care system responded to the changes?Today, we’re going to take a step back and ask the question: How does the Affordable Care Act fit into the big picture of Maryland’s health care system? 

Adrian Clark / Flickr / Creative Commons
Adrian Clark / Flickr / Creative Commons

Maryland's online insurance marketplace, the health exchange is being scrapped in favor of a system created in Connecticut. So, how will Maryland make sure that this around, things are done right? And will it be ready in time for the next open-enrollment period, which starts in November? With Sheilah Kast to answer those questions is Carolyn Quattrocki. She’s Acting Director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. And, with us by phone from Connecticut is Kevin Counihan, CEO of that state’s exchange, Access Health CT.

David Hilowitz / Flickr / Creative Commons

The deadline to sign up for health insurance this year ended last night at midnight. First, we hear from a few people who were considering buying insurance. Then, Sheilah Kast talks with Brad Herring, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, about what keeps people from buying health insurance and about what insurance options are available, or not available, for people who didn’t sign up.

Compfight

More than 470,000 Marylanders are of Latino origin, just over 8 percent of the state’s population.  Many of them need health insurance.  At Baltimore Medical System’s Highlandtown clinic, navigators are helping people register for care.  Many have been arriving as the March 31st deadline approaches.

Lowering Health Care Spending, One Patient at a Time

Mar 18, 2014
Credit: Tabitha Kaylee Hawk
Tabitha Kaylee Hawk

The Affordable Care Act’s main goal is to insure the uninsured. But, one other goal: lower the cost of health care. Advances in data collection are giving us a clearer picture of who’s costing hospitals the most and why. Some say this creates new opportunities for savings. Reporter Lawrence Lanahan went to Columbia, Maryland, to see how this is playing out in our backyard.

flickr/sapiensstudio

Under the Affordable Care Act, people are more likely to receive care in community health centers and at home than in hospitals, which means new responsibilities for nurses.  As the state does its full sprint to educate the uninsured, we wanted to focus on how some of the most crucial players are adapting: nurses. 

rweller/stock.xchng

This is The Checkup, our weekly series about how healthcare is changing in Maryland.  One of the goals of the Affordable Care Act is to change incentives for providers of healthcare, so economic rewards would be more attached to keeping patients well than to the number of tests, treatments, and procedures performed on those patients.

Credit Alex Proimos
Alex Proimos

Today, we continue our series, The Checkup, our weekly series on how health care is changing in Maryland. One big change announced yesterday for the state’s online health insurance marketplace: The board of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange said it’s ending its contract with Noridian, the North Dakota-based company that had been the prime I.T. contractor. Joining Sheilah Kast now to talk about the change is Maryland Health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein, who chairs the board of the exchange. 

redwolfoz / Creative Commons

About a third of emergency room visits in Maryland could have been handled in a primary care setting. Will the Affordable Care Act change that... and, if so, when?

Are ACOs Changing the Way Doctors Work Together?

Feb 11, 2014
a.drian / Creative Commons
a.drian / Creative Commons

Today, on the Checkup, we look at Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs. Those are groups of independent providers in a particular community who join together to coordinate care—and to save money.  ACOs can include hospitals, physicians, and specialists. 

Jamyla Kay

Every year more than 50,000 refugees and asylees enter the United States, and hundreds resettle in Maryland. 

On today’s edition of The Checkup, we hear from refugees and service providers about the changes to refugees' healthcare and the unique health challenges that many face.

Shepherd's Clinic in Baltimore.
Matt Purdy

750,000: That was the estimated number of Marylanders without health insurance as the Affordable Care Act began to rollout. That number has dropped by about 148,000. As of mid-January, about 25,000 people had signed up for private insurance and about 123,000 had gotten Medicaid, the government coverage for certain low-income Americans. One of those people is 53-year-old Baltimorean, Hal Reinhardt. Matt Purdy talks with him about how he got treatment for his diabetes and bipolar disorder while uninsured.

Credit: Alex Proimos / Flickr / Creative Commons
Credit: Alex Proimos / Flickr / Creative Commons

The federal government is giving Maryland the okay to try a new approach to hospital care.  It’s going to change how often people are admitted to the hospital and how hospitals get paid. State officials say the new plan puts the emphasis on keeping people healthy. We hear from Health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein and Carmela Coyle of the Maryland Hospital Association.

Credit: a.adrian / Creative Commons
Credit: a.adrian / Creative Commons

 

More than 110,000 Marylanders began getting their health coverage through Medicaid on January 1st. That’s almost six times the number of Marylanders who signed up for private coverage. On The Checkup, we talk about how Medicaid is changing health care in Maryland and other states.

Credit: Compfight / Creative Commons
Credit: Compfight / Creative Commons

The Affordable Care Act requires that insurers provide 45 preventive services to patients free of charge.  What does this mean for the health of individual patients?  What it could mean for the future health of the U.S., as a society And how much is it all going to cost?

A screenshot of the Maryland Health Connection, after we tried to log in.
A screenshot of the Maryland Health Connection, after we tried to log in.

The director of Maryland’s online health exchange resigned on Friday. On the Checkup, we talk about the challenges the exchange faces and possible solutions.

Small businesses line Main Street in Annapolis. Credit: Mr. T In DC / Flickr / Creative Commons
Small businesses line Main Street in Annapolis. Credit: Mr. T In DC / Flickr / Creative Commons

The federal online health insurance exchange has delayed its start for small businesses until November 2014. But, Maryland’s on-line marketplace will start selling insurance to small businesses in April, as scheduled. How will rates for small businesses change? Today, on The Checkup, we talk about that with Frank Kelly, Jr., founder of a big insurance brokerage in Maryland.

Credit: tschörda / Flickr / Creative Commons
Credit: tschörda / Flickr / Creative Commons

On The Checkup: how is mental-health care changing under Obamacare? WYPR’s Mary Rose Madden has investigated, and shares what she’s found.

Credit: United Workers / flickr / Creative Commons
Credit: United Workers / flickr / Creative Commons

In order to get a better understanding of how Maryland is reaching out to minority populations around the state, we hear from several people engaged in this issue, including Congressman Elijah Cummings and outreach leaders on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, in Western Maryland and in Baltimore City.

Credit: Alan Cleaver / Flickr / Creative Commons
Credit: Alan Cleaver / Flickr / Creative Commons

A quarter of all Americans will deal with a substance abuse issue at some point in their lives. Of those, only about 11-percent will get treatment. The Affordable Care Act may change that. It requires that all insurance plans cover treatment for substance abuse.

Dr. Peter Beilenson  Credit: TEDxBaltimore / Flickr / Creative Commons
Dr. Peter Beilenson Credit: TEDxBaltimore / Flickr / Creative Commons

Evergreen Health Co-op, one of the insurers on the new health exchange, has signed up way fewer customers than they’d hoped. We talk about why, and how it’s adjusting, with Evergreen’s founder, Dr. Peter Beilenson.

Credit: Creative Commons / Alan Cleaver
Credit: Creative Commons / Alan Cleaver

The new health care exchange is compared to travel websites like Expedia. But buying insurance can be more complicated than buying a plane ticket. Brokers can help with that purchase.  Today, we look at the role they are playing in the exchange—and the entire roll out of the Affordable Care Act.

Credit: forwardcom / stock.xchng
Credit: forwardcom / stock.xchng

On January 1st, Medicaid will start covering more low-income Marylanders. How will the expansion shape health care for Maryland's poor? Sheilah talks with Kevin Lindamood, President and Chief Executive Officer of the non-profit Health Care for the Homeless.

Maryland Health Connection Screenshot
Maryland Health Connection Screenshot

Maryland's online health care exchange opened two weeks ago--and it's not been an entirely click-friendly experience. Today on the Checkup, we talk about what's worked--and what hasn't.

Maryland expects 360,000 newly insured residents by 2020. Will it be hard for them - and harder for you - to see a primary care physician? Today on The Checkup, we ask whether Maryland is going to experience a primary care shortage, and what Southern Maryland is doing to keep the shortage it already has from getting worse.

Credit: Kurhan / stock.xchng

The federal government is closed today, but the Maryland Health Connection is open. It's the state's new online marketplace for consumers to comparison-shop and buy their own health insurance. We talk with Rebecca Pearce, executive director of the marketplace, as well as with executives of two of Maryland's health insurers about what consumers should expect.

Credit: slonecker / stock.xchng
Credit: slonecker / stock.xchng

The health-insurance exchanges are scheduled to open a week from today, and opponents are still trying to delay or defund Obamacare. In “The Checkup” we ask Politico health care reporter Paige Winfield Cunningham how it will play out here.

Today we continue our series The Checkup: How Health Care Is Changing In Maryland. We meet a retiree from Baltimore County, who’s looking for a good deal in health coverage and Karen Pollitz from the Kaiser Family Foundation, who guides us through the soon-to-open online marketplaces for health insurance.

marfis75 / Flickr / Creative Commons
marfis75 / Flickr / Creative Commons

Maryland’s health insurance exchange goes online in three weeks. How much do you know about your new options for health coverage? We ask Kathleen Westcoat from the nonprofit HealthCare Access Maryland who will help the public navigate the online marketplace.