Regardless of opposition, Pennsylvania Medicaid contracts hold unionization language

(The Heart Sq.) – As Medicaid contracts are labored out to take impact in the summertime, draft language stays unchanged that might compel unionization in some Pennsylvania well being methods.

As The Heart Sq. beforehand reported, the HealthChoices Medicaid Managed Care agreements cowl the bodily well being portion of Pennsylvania’s Medicaid contracts, which cowl virtually 3 million Pennsylvanians and have been value $65 billion over the previous 5 years.

Regardless of questioning from state senators and representatives who urged the draft language within the contracts to be amended, the Division of Human Providers has not modified them. 

Initially anticipated to enter impact in July, DHS has delayed them till Aug. 1. “The Division turned conscious of a problem involving difficulties skilled by not less than one managed care group in its efforts to develop and negotiate inclusion of sure UPMC amenities in its community, which doubtlessly impacts the assessment of community adequacy necessities,” mentioned Ali Fogarty, communications director of DHS.

Nonetheless, the language has but to be finalized, although the unique plan was to have contract language finalized by April 1. “The agreements are nonetheless in draft kind at the moment,” Fogarty mentioned.

The contract draft language reads, partially: “The PH-MCO might not embody in its community any Supplier with a historical past of a number of work stoppages through the 5 years instantly previous the Efficient Date of this Settlement, except the Supplier is or turns into a signatory to a sound collective bargaining settlement or is or turns into a signatory to a labor peace settlement with any labor group that informs the Supplier that it’s looking for to signify the Supplier’s workers at any website within the PH-MCO’s community that delivers providers to HealthChoices enrollees.”

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The settlement “is meant to forestall service disruptions to the PH-MCO’s members attributable to worker unrest or dissatisfaction,” it reads. 

That has not sat nicely with the Hospital and Healthsystem Affiliation of Pennsylvania, which has despatched a number of letters to DHS opposing the language.

“Pennsylvania’s hospital group may be very involved about proposed language in upcoming Medicaid managed care contracts that, primarily based on lately up to date estimates, may jeopardize entry to well being look after a whole lot of 1000’s of Pennsylvanians,” mentioned Liam Migdail, director of media relations for HAP. “If enacted, this proposal would preclude a dozen or extra hospitals from caring for sufferers lined by Medicaid, together with some which can be the one hospitals of their rural communities and others that provide specialised care for girls, youngsters, and folks with most cancers.”