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We're in open enrollment period for Medicaid Care Management

To The Daily Sun,

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has launched the start of open enrollment for the Medicaid Care Management (MCM) program. By now, we expect that all Medicaid beneficiaries will have been notified about their status for MCM — be it mandatory, voluntary or exempt and open enrollment will be fully under way.

If mandatory or voluntary, beneficiaries will receive information about each health plan and how to make a decision about which one to choose. Most importantly though, people do not need to rush into a decision. Everyone will have at least 60 days to decide.

Health plan provider networks are very fluid at this time, as is to be expected, as more providers who complete credentialing are added to networks on a daily basis. Some hospitals and their affiliated physicians have completed both necessary steps in order to be listed on the provider directory, but others have not.

The two steps are contracting — all hospitals have contracts with at least one health plan, and credentialing — the process through which the health plan ensures that no one affiliated with the hospital has been excluded from participation in Medicaid or is being investigated by their licensing board, for example. This process can be time-consuming, especially for large institutions. No one should conclude that the network is inadequate or that the health plans aren't ready to "go-live" simply because a provider isn't listed on the directory yet. It is being updated daily. In fact, the plans' network development staff has informed us that New Hampshire's networks are more developed than most at 10 weeks prior to go-live.

We at DHHS are happy to see the tremendous interest in the current status of the networks and the enrollment traffic that has already occurred. That said, there is a 60-day open enrollment period and no need to rush to enroll. For those who wish to enroll now, there is the option of calling each plan for the most up-to-the-minute status of a certain provider. The other option is to call our call center to review the health plan provider directories and make a plan selection. That toll free number is: 1-888-901-4999. DHHS will also post a table of all New Hampshire hospitals with their status on our Care Management web page. This will be updated weekly. That information may be found at www.dhhs.nh.gov/ombp/caremgt/index.htm

Over the last year and a half we have come to know the health plans well and this has buoyed our confidence that the move to Medicaid Care Management is an excellent choice. Through our partnership with the health plans, DHHS expands its ability to coordinate care across the spectrum, increases its focus on quality care and quality improvement, and increases its ability to ensure Medicaid beneficiaries receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place. The immediate transition period will feel disruptive to some since even positive change can prove stressful. We remain committed to making the transition as easy and smooth as possible for Medicaid beneficiaries and their families and providers.

Nick Toumpas, Commissioner

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 October 2014 10:36

Hits: 93

No way U.S. troops on the ground is going to solve the ISIS problem

To The Daily Sun,

You can make a difference by how you vote.

If you want to send your son to war, have a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, cut funding for the Center For Disease Control and National Institutes for Health, allow unlimited pollution of our environment, and have a large part of our citizenry without health insurance, then don't vote, or vote for a Republican.

All the analysts who know what they are talking about point out that the Obama administration is taking the right course on all the major issues facing our country. The right-wing media has a large constituency of people who let Fox and friends think for them.

On ISIS there is no way U.S. troops on the ground are going to solve the situation. It is very complex and requires the measured approach of Obama. Unless other Muslim countries are willing to put their troops on the ground, we would just be involving the U.S. in an endless war again. This would generate more fanatics attacking us in retaliation.

Vote for U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and other Democrats on Nov 4.

Kent Warner
Center Harbor

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 October 2014 10:32

Hits: 130

Running State of New Hampshire is not at all like running a business

To The Daily Sun,
I would like to address Walt Haverstein's erroneous thinking that running a state is like running a business.

1. We are not employees who walk through his door for part of our day with intent to obey him; we are constituents who have 24-hour day lives and needs all over the place. Definitely we are not neatly packaged and compliant.

2. The bottom line income for the state is not made up of nearly unlimited defense-spending dollars.

3. Boss is not the same as governor. When a group of us N.H. Peace Action folk recently walked into Nashua as part of a nonviolence action, carrying our peace signs and banners and paused at the BAE roadside sign, a security van came out to observe and make sure we got no closer than the public property borderline. A governor, however, must be approachable by all and hear all viewpoints.

The processes and goals of a defense-contractor business are not the same as the processes and goals of state government.

Lynn Rudmin Chong


Last Updated on Thursday, 16 October 2014 10:28

Hits: 96

We left Iraq early because Obama doubted the immunity clause

To The Daily Sun,

Mr. Ewing might want to re-­read the agreement and get his facts straight. Bottom line was the Iraqis wanted out so bad they would have done just about anything to get us to leave. We had no trust or working relations with them by this time. They hated the parts in Status of Forces Agreement that gave us immunity from prosecution for the work we were doing. But they did love Bush, so much so, that one man gave him a pair of shoes. Well, he actually threw them at Bush while shouting "You Dog" or maybe it was give them to your dog knowing Bush had one.

Another time, tens of thousands burned Bush in effigy ironically in the same area where we had pulled down Saddam Hussein's statue a few years earlier. We started pulling out in 2008, more in 2009 and the rest before the end of 2011 to beat the deadline of years end. Our mission was coming to a close and felt we were enablers and were doing them a favor with all our help. But most combat troops were starting to leave in 2008 and (Secretary of Defense) Gates felt we would still leave up to 70,000 troops after that. The Iraqis still doubted we would ever leave and protested the agreement because it extended and legitimized our presence. Maliki was concerned because he felt we were over-extending our jurisdiction in "now his" country.

Bush hailed the passing as a great accomplishment. But outside the countrymen were burning our flags in protest. By that time we had little choice. We left early because Obama doubted the immunity clause in the agreement would be honored by Iraq. The generals in the field also doubted Iraq was ready even after all the training and gear we had give them.

Jon Hoyt


Last Updated on Thursday, 16 October 2014 10:16

Hits: 103

I can be deciding vote to bring good goverance back to county

To The Daily Sun,

My opponent's letter published in the Oct. 7 edition of The Daily Sun demonstrates the sharp contrast between myself and him for Belknap County Commissioner.

I will end the acrimony and he will continue it. He is already throwing arrows at the delegation and criticizing the court's decision on the role of the delegation. My opponent will not heal the wounds in the county, but will allow them to stay open.

If elected, I will be the deciding vote to bring good governance back to the county. I will work hard to build trust with my fellow commissioners, county employees, and the delegation. I will cast the deciding vote to end all lawsuits. Employees will not be fired for having a different view point. If elected, I will ensure the jail plan will respect Laconia's tax cap, thus protecting city employees from layoffs. My opponent's jail plan is more expensive than the City of Laconia, or towns, can afford.

I know many Belknap County employees. My mother was a county employee for 30 years in another county. People are important and I will protect jobs, while ensuring the best quality healthcare for all.

I admire how the City of Laconia worked with their unions to get employees to change health plans to avoid future taxes with the Affordable Care Act. This tax will cost the county $600,000 every year if we do not change the way we do business.

Please consider voting for me so I may serve as your County Commissioner and end the toxic climate that currently interferes with good government in our county.

David DeVoy


Candidate for Belknap County Commissioner


Last Updated on Thursday, 16 October 2014 10:08

Hits: 100

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