Bill Number: S.B. 98
Title of the Bill: Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations
Long Title: The bill mandates that base budgets must entail a provisioned funding for Medicaid accountable care institutions at specified amounts.
Chief Sponsors Name: J. Stuart Adams
Sponsors Name: James A. Dunnigan
House or Senate: 2015 general session
The bill provided its definitions and sought base budgets to have funding for Medicaid accountable care institutions, at given amounts. Moreover, the bill also required the office of the governor of management and budget together with the Legislative Fiscal Analysts Office to provide the funds to the Department of Health. Also, the bill mandated that this has to be done before September 1, each year. However, by the time the governor signed the S.B. 98, no funds had been appropriated for the bill. The Utah code sections that were affected were the Utah Code annotated 1953, 26-18-405.5. The drafting attorney responsible for the bill was Cathy J. Dupoint, and the fiscal analyst was Rusell T. Frandsen.
The bill procession started on January 26 this year, where it was numbered and distributed. On January 27, the bill was received by the Senate from Legislative Research. At this time, the bill was waiting to be introduced at the Senate. The bill received its first reading on January 28 the same year. A state Senator Adams explained the first debate on the bill. Representative Peterson passed out the bill favorably during the 1st Sub. S.B. 98. The motion of the S.B. 98 was passed unanimously. The Congress Representative Anderegg was absent during the voting process. The second reading of the Bill was performed on February 19 and the third reading on February 20. On March 12, 2015, the bill was picked up from the Senate for filing. A copy of the enrolled bill was prepared on March 16, 2015. Later, on the 27th of March, the governor signed the bill, which was later sent to the lieutenant governor's office to be filed and stored.
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Why S.B. 98 is Important for Accountable Care Organizations
Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are made up of a group of individuals who come together to offer coordinated high-quality medical services to Medicaid services. Such individuals include groups of doctors, healthcare providers, and hospitals. The coordinated care aids in ensuring that a patient, mostly the chronically ill, attain the right medical attention at the right time. This is aimed at eradicating unnecessary duplication of services as well as preventing medical errors. Utah Medicaid contracted with Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) to offer medical services to Medicaid members living in Utah. ACO provides all Medicaid members with medical services that are fully covered by Medicaid. In this case, Medicaid pays a monthly fee to cover the expenses of all persons enrolled in ACO. The persons enrolled in the ACO, Utah, must attain all medical services via a provider that is on the ACOs network.
Introductions and Committee that Presided Over the Bill
The bill on Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations was commenced during the 2015 Utah general session. According to the bill, base budgets should include a provisioned funding for Medicaid accountable care institutions at specified amounts. The chief sponsor of the bill was J. Stuart Adams while the sponsor was James A. Dunnigan. The committee that presided over the bill was the Business and Labor Committee. On February 26, 2015, the committee made a favorable recommendation in support of the bill. The ruling of the bill was also presided over by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
The members of the House committee attended the debate to pass the bill. It was chaired by Val. Peterson and vice-chaired by John Knotwell. The committee conference was held on February 26, 2015. The venue was 445 State Capitol at 8:00 am. The committee analyst was Megan L. Bolin, who works at the Office of Legislature Research and General Counsel. The House members passed the motion by voting anonymously.
The committee was made up of the members of the Senate for Health and Human Services Committee. It was chaired by Evan J. Vickers on Tuesday, February 3, 2015. The venue for the meeting was 250 State Capitol, Utah. The committee analyst was Gregg A. Girvan, who labors at the office of Legislative Research and General Counsel. The committee's secretary during the meeting was Nancy Skidmore. The bill was voted unanimously and signed by Senator J.S. Adams.
Arguments For, Against the Bill and Bills Final Voting
There were no arguments against the bill. The bill received anonymous voting from the presiding committees from both the House and Senate. At the time, Congress Representative Anderegg was absent during the voting process. The signing of the bill was performed at the Utah Department of Health. It is located at Cannon Health Building, 288 North 1460 West, room 125. It was done at 2:15 pm on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. The bill was the final house's vote, and it was passed.
What Do I Think?
From my point of view, the debate to pass the bill took the best turn by being approved. Offering funds to the ACOs will help them continue helping the sick population in Utah. That is for those persons who are already registered with Medicaid. Health care provision is an important social function in society. In the current economic times, most nations and states around the world are faced with the increased cost of acquiring medical assistance. The bill was signed on March 27 this year by the Governor, and it mandated his office of Management and Budget to offer funds to ACOs. This means that the ACOs will have a larger volume of resources at their hands to take care of the sick in Utah. Improved medical care translates into the further economic development of the nation. A healthy population will go a long way in building the economy of a nation.
In 2014 and 2015, the discussion about a healthy Utah has been a principal healthcare issue in Congress. In fact, the members realized that there was a need to support the health sector for the overall benefit of the society members. The UHA has been a major player in leading a powerful business and society coalition forum aimed at finding a solution for supporting the healthcare sector in the nation. At one point, UHA implemented a sophisticated healthcare management strategy that employed effective TV advertisements, radio advertisements, polls, and social media to lobby the legislature to find a solution to the prevailing problem.
At the time, five previous healthcare-related bills had been brought before the Senate. Nevertheless, none had been approved to support the healthcare sector in Utah. Nevertheless, the S.B. 98 bill received a majority vote due to its numerous advantages to the healthcare improvement in Utah. The bill, which was sanctioned to be effective from July 1st, 2015, would see through that funds were allocated from the public resources to support the provision of medical services in Utah. Taking the above-mentioned into account, I believe that passing the bill was appropriate and will make a significant contribution to the health sector and general wellness of the citizens of Utah.