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November 22, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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November 22, 2012
 

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November 22, 2012 I The Lovell Chronicle I 7 HYART MOVES TO DIGITAL continued from page one A restroom renovation project was undertaken this summer thanks to a donation by Ken and Darece Grant and Midway Auto Sales, and the restrooms now have new par- titions, mirrors, lighting, soap and towel dispensers and hot water on demand. There is a need for a hand- icapped-accessible restroom in the building, as well, Steenbakkers said. Steenbakkers said he hopes cit- izens will see the value in the Hyart Theatre, a place for family entertain- ment and a place for kids to go safe- ly on weekends. He said the beard will take anything from individual to cor- porate donations. "The industry is changing faster than we anticipated," he said. "More and more movies are not coming out in anything other than digital. The equipment needs to be ordered by the spring, because by the beginning of the summer it will be hard to get any- thing on reel to reel. There have al- ready been a couple coming out that we couldn&apos;t get unless we were digital." The Hyart board was to meet Tuesday night to discuss a more de- tailed fundraising strategy. FRANNIE MAYOR RESIGNS continued from page one "I'm going to miss it. I just pray that whoever replaces me is willing to devote at least two to three hours of their week to the town. I would certainly like to see them attend the meetings of the nine mayors. The next one is in Janu- ary in Basin." A new mayor must be appointed from the ranks of the council. If the council elects to choose from the current members, the new mayor would be Peregoy, Kreutzer, Ron Logan or Brenda Kawano. If the council decides to wait until new members take office on Jan. 1, the mayor could also be Moore or Johnson. "These people may be looking to see what is out there, what they can pay for, but they will be automati- cally enrolled in Medicaid through the navigator," said Harvey. Harvey said the feder- al exchange adds a tremen- dous number of duties'for Wyoming state employees who will still be responsible for Medicaid enrollment and claims administration. Addi- tionally, the federal govern- ment will charge a fee for us- ing the exchange or a tax on all insurance policies to cover the cost of the exchange. "The federal government still expects the exchange to be self-sustaining, and Wy- oming will pick up the bill for the use of the federal ex- change," said Harvey. "We will always be stuck with the expense of it, but the ques- tion is do we want to be in charge of it or do we want the federal government in charge. By partnering with other states, we can share things like IT and that helps bring down the cost for us." The committee enter- tained a bill regarding the interstate sales of health insurance. Wee entertained it which means we heard it, we worked it, we refined it and looked at all of the im- plications of the bill," said Harvey. "We wanted people to have time to think about it and process it more so we laid it back until our meeting in December." BILLS IN PROGRESS ', Iarvey said..t]t"'three bills were pase through committee and will be pre- sented at the next session of the legislature, which begins on Jan. 8. The first bill allows coun- ty governments to opt out of the state's public health nursing program. It allows those counties who opt out to set up their own Dept. of Public Health. "That's not something our county has the ability to do," said Harvey, regarding Big Horn County. 'Fhe state contributes 35 percent of the cost to smaller counties like ours, so it probably won't change things for us." The second bill passed is in regard to federal unem- ployment insurance compli- ance. It established a defini- tion of timeliness of 30 days for employers and also re- quired the department to confirm receipt of correspon- dence from employers. "We wanted to require that the department con- firm they received corre- spondence from the employ- ers because we had several complaints from employers who said they faxed informa- tion to the state but the fax machine did not work at the other end." Harvey said the com- mittee felt this helped small employers by giving them enough time to respond to claims and assures them that their correspondence is received in a timely fashion. The third bill passed re- lates to hospitalization of minor children for mental health reasons. She said the bill assures that 17-year- olds will lever be detained in jails. "We actually had some 17-year-olds detained in county jails and that is why we passed this bill," said Harvey. "This is often the age that schizophrenia and bipo- lar disorder are diagnosed. If the parent says I don't want to. treat the child, the case is covered by the Child Protec- tion Act and the child won't be placed in a jail." The committee held back a number of bills for addition- al work including a bill that considers forming a health insurance exchange commit- tee that would be in charge of overseeing the federal ex- change and gearing up to take the program over from the federal government. "this would give us the authority to work with oth- er states on trying to develop a system that might some- day allow the sale of insur- ance across state lines," said Harvey. The committee also re- viewed a bill regarding Med- icaid eligibility. The bill did not pass because the com- mittee felt it needed more work. "Right now, the Dept. of Health Division of Med- icaid is the entity that de- fines Medicaid eligibility and it has the privilege of changing that eligibility," ex- plained Harvey. "Since we don't know if we are going to do the Medicaid expansion (written into the Affordable Care Act) this will help us determine at our next meet- ing if we will do that and if we don't it will expressly pro- hibit the state from entering into expansion of Medicaid." The Affordable Care Act originally required states to expand their Medicaid pro- grams to cover those who could not afford their own in- surance. In the state of Wyo- ming, this would add approx- imately 30,000 individuals to the state's Medicaid rolls and would carry with it a cost to the state. The U.S. Supreme Court threw out this provi- sion of ACA and makes it optional, not mandatory, for states. Many states have al- ready opted out of that part of the law. "This bill is strictly de- signed to put the decision of whether or not to expand the state's Medicaid program in the hands of the legislature," said Harvey. "I'm pretty sure we're going to hold back for at least a year so we can get all of our ducks in row be- fore making that kind of decision." The committee also worked on a bill regarding Medicaid fraud. Harvey said they made "great progress" on the bill but the committee felt it needed more work. The last bill the com- mittee worked on had to do with hospital reporting. Har- vey said the federal govern- ment has worked out a "re- formed payment system" but has not worked on cost. This bill compares prices between different hospitals and rates them on quality of services for 25 basic procedures. "So maybe the least ex- pensive place to get your knee replaced is also the place with the highest rate of infections," said Harvey. "It will give the public a trans- parent way to look at the best place to have certain procedures done taking into account both cost and quali- ty. It also gives hospitals the opportunity to look at each other's data and we hope it stimulates competition." DEPT. OF HEALTH BUDGET REVIEW "On the first day, we spent most of the day work- ing with the Dept. of Health on their budget reductions," said Harvey. "We accept- ed their budget with one change. We retained all of the funding in the develop- mental preschools because we think it sets a foundation for education and instead asked that an equal amount of money be removed from the Life Resource Center in Lander." The Life Resource Cen- ter is the state institution for people with intellectual dis- abilities. The committee felt too much money was placed there that could be used with greater tong-term benefits at the preschool level. MANAGED.CARE FOR MEDICAID CONSIDERED The committee also ex- amined a proposed man- aged care program for Med- icaid. Under a managed care program, a private company would coordinate the pro- gram. Although the program is considered exempt from the 8 percent budget reduc- tion requested by Gov. Mead earlier this year, the commit- tee is still looking for ways to keep the costs for the pro- gram from increasing. A company called Cen- tene Inc. made a presenta- tion to the committee regard ing their services. This ws the first presentation of its kind to the committee. "They showed us what they've done in other states and I'm encouraged by what they've done," said Harvey. "They provide services that can help keep people home longer before going into a nursing home and that's one of the managed care things that we think could be ben- eficial because they coordi- nate the care at home. They also take chronically ill peo- ple like diabetics and help them stay on track with test- ing, keeping appointments and avoids situations where we get patients in diabet- ic shock in the emergency room." Harvey thought the pre- sentation allowed the com- mittee to take a close look at how managed care would look. Harvey said companies like Centene add more pa- tient services without add- ing cost. "That was just one com- pany, so I can't say that is what managed care should look like but it did pique our interest in the idea of man- aged care as something to consider for the future." Harvey noted that only 2 percent of the Medicaid bud- get goes to administration. The other 98 percent is spent directly on "human services," so a focus on more efficient use of the resources makes more sense than cuts. The committee will meet again in Cheyenne on De- cember 13 and 14 to hammer out the final details of their bills before they are present- edat the upcoming legisla- tive session. ,.OPEN NG Come on in every Friday for Prime Rib! The Prairie Grill Main St. in Cowleg, Wgoming, 5q8-2990 Tues.-Thurs. 7am-Bpm; Fri. , Sat. 7am-9pm; Sun. 7am-P.pm Enjoy Thanksgiving with your loved ones! We will be closed Thursday, Nov. 22. < 00First Bank of Wyoming M.=b,, 548-2751 284 E. Main Lovell .IOU With -n. 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