Healthcare

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of Governor Terry McAuliffe

Today Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia is one of only four states to have been awarded a $9.3 million federal grant to hire more than 100 enrollment assisters who will help state residents sign up on the Federal Marketplace for health insurance starting November 15. The federal grant will play a large role in helping Governor McAuliffe implement his “Healthy Virginia” plan to expand health care to more than 200,000 Virginians.
 
“This federal grant will boost my administration’s efforts to help Virginians get access to the health care they need,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe, who received the news Tuesday morning in a telephone call with U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell. “We will use this money to put more boots on the ground to make sure individuals and families find the best low-cost insurance options for them, and to make sure they know about the financial assistance that is available.”
 
During the initial 2013-14 sign-up period, Virginia’s state government was not an active participant in educational and outreach efforts. However, more than 216,000 Virginians purchased health plans. Unfortunately, an estimated 300,000 Virginians who are qualified for tax credits if they purchase insurance on the Federal Marketplace remain uninsured.
 
As part of his “Healthy Virginia” plan, Governor McAuliffe announced last month that he has set a goal to enroll up to 160,000 more Virginians on the Marketplace during the enrollment period that extends from November 15 to February 15.
 
The federal grant awarded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services enables Virginia to partner with the Virginia Community Healthcare Association and the Virginia Poverty Law Center and deploy more than 100 paid enrollment assisters across the Commonwealth.
 
“This is a major step forward for Virginia,” said Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel. “I am particularly pleased that some of the individuals who are in the Medicaid coverage gap will qualify for financial assistance on the Marketplace.”
 
The Virginia Community Healthcare Association is a nonprofit association representing 28 federally qualified health centers and one rural health clinic. The association trained and oversaw certified application counselors during the initial sign-up period. The grant and partnership with Virginia will enable it to step up outreach and enrollment activities this fall and winter.
 
The Virginia Poverty Law Center, based in Richmond, provides training to local Legal Aid program staff and is a designated Navigator organization in Virginia.
 
“The Virginia Community Healthcare Association is delighted with this opportunity,” said Neal Graham, Chief Executive Officer of VCHA. “This will enable us to provide funding to the Community Health Centers and other community partners to place enrollment staff at the local level.  As we learned last year, local staff make all the difference in assisting persons in making the important choices about the purchase of health care coverage; and health care coverage makes all the difference in people’s lives.”
 
“We are very excited about this opportunity to help more Virginians know about and enroll in affordable health insurance options,” added Jill Hanken, staff attorney for the Virginia Poverty Law Center.
 
As part of Virginia’s campaign to enroll state residents, the state will launch an improved website next month at coverva.org with user-friendly links to health care options and educational resources. The state also will begin a major media campaign this winter to increase awareness about the importance and availability of health insurance. A family of three with an income between $19,790 and $79,160 may be eligible for tax credits when purchasing insurance on the Federal Marketplace.
 
The grant will be administered by the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services.

Office of the Governor
Contact: Brian Coy
Email: Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov
Phone: 804-225-4260

The Dulles Regional Chamber recognizes the importance of the healthcare industry to the economy and the community. For that reason, it supports appropriate federal and state reimbursement levels that allow primary care providers, specialists, and hospitals to care for patients and reduce the displacement of costs to those who are privately insured. The Partnership also supports maximum flexibility to encourage business to provide the best health insurance options for employees in the free market system.

Given action taken at the federal level in the healthcare arena, the Partnership remains extremely concerned about the impact of federal healthcare reform legislation on the business community and urges careful consideration of the impact of any policy change or development of regulations in this arena.   Specifically, we are concerned about the lack of predictability, understanding, and action by special interests related to the Affordable Care Act that places many businesses at a disadvantage.

The Chamber supports legislation that ensures access to affordable and stable group health insurance for all businesses, including sole proprietors and businesses with few employees. The Partnership supports legislation that reduces state burdens and provides tax incentives to help small businesses offset the staggering increases in health insurance costs, including incentives that encourage participation in “consumer-driven” healthcare and wellness plans. Further, the Partnership supports initiatives that: improve quality and lower costs; encourage fair regulation of the insurance market; build a robust healthcare insurance marketplace for consumers; expand the use of healthcare IT; create an emphasis on prevention, wellness, and personal responsibility; and promote pay-for-performance.   

On the issue of Medicaid, the Chamber supports the expansion of Medicaid, concurrent with reform, with both components essential to the outcome.

The Chamber supports collaborative efforts between healthcare stakeholders, including providers, purchasers, insurers and consumers, to ensure continued innovation, creativity and transformation in the healthcare marketplace. The goals of these efforts should include the following:

  • Effective communication and education of the many changes in the healthcare laws and marketplace to create an informed consumer;
  • Expansion of healthcare infrastructure (both inpatient and outpatient) to meet community  needs;
  • Preservation of healthcare options in both the provider and insurance markets  that encourage competition to enhance choice and control costs;
  • Increase in the supply of well-trained medical personnel;
  • Effective management of healthcare costs impacting businesses;
  • Promotion of workplace and community wellness initiatives;
  • Increased accessibility of healthcare and insurance;
  • Enhanced quality, choice, unbiased data transparency, and diminished redundancies and waste in healthcare and
  • Appropriate planning for emergency preparedness and public-private partnerships to address pandemic preparedness.

One group’s growing need may well be addressed by another group’s growing need. The healthcare IT field is expected to grow jobs by over 20 percent in the next six years. At the same time, our returning military need to find meaningful careers as they transition back to civilian life. With a quarter-million troops currently seeking employment, a natural opportunity is evolving.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is working with other groups to offer the Veterans Career Services Initiative in order to bring military veterans into the healthcare IT field.

This is the type of program that the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce supports through the T3 (Training, Transitioning, and Teaming for Veterans) Committee. “We are delighted to hear of such a strong push to bring employment opportunities to our veterans,” says DRCC President Eileen Curtis. “Through the T3 and the GovCON committees we always are looking for all avenues to assist our returning military.

“This year, InNOVAte, the chamber’s annual conference on cutting-edge technologies, will focus on healthcare innovation and we see this initiative as a model for a way in which those technologies will help the community.” The chamber will be offering its own T3 programs this winter to bring together veterans and those organizations around the DC Metro area that need qualified workers.

Governor McAuliffe today announced the launch of Commonwealth Coordinated Care (CCC), a program that will blend and coordinate Medicare and Medicaid benefits for approximately 78,000 eligible Virginians. As only the third state to implement this type of coordinated care for Medicare-Medicaid enrollees, Virginia has pioneered an innovative, responsive program to provide health care and long-term services and supports to people who often have very complex needs.

CCC is Virginia’s response to years of national research that shows the current structure of the two separate health programs results in cost inefficiency and poor health outcomes due to uncoordinated care.  Governor McAuliffe said “Nationwide, individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid typically have the highest and most complex medical needs but are often underserved by the misaligned rules and financial incentives of the two separate programs.  CCC will blend all of the benefits currently provided under Medicare and Medicaid into one plan with a designated care manager who will ensure person-centered and efficient health care services are provided. This will not only make it easier to manage the system from the beneficiary’s perspective, this innovative program will bring greater efficiencies and cost savings to the state’s overall healthcare delivery system.”

The development of Commonwealth Coordinated Care began in 2011 when the Virginia General Assembly directed the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) to develop a program that would better meet the needs of Virginians receiving both Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Achievement of this program represents a major reform to Medicaid in Virginia, signifying the readiness of Virginia’s healthcare system to take the next step and accept federal funds to close the coverage gap.

Speaking about the accomplishment, Governor McAuliffe stated, “Now we must continue to improve our healthcare system by bringing $2 billion of taxpayer funds per year back to the Commonwealth to cover hundreds of thousands of Virginians. Every day that we wait, we forego over $5 million in taxpayer funds that could be used towards ensuring that more of our friends and neighbors have access to the quality healthcare they deserve.”

Three Medicare-Medicaid health plans, Anthem Healthkeepers, Humana, and Virginia Premier have contracted with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and DMAS to provide services under CCC for the four-year demonstration.  The contract commits the parties to a new model of care for Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries that will provide efficiencies and improve the delivery of services to some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens.  The contract includes provisions for person-centered care planning, interdisciplinary care teams, care coordination services, provider credentialing, access to services, unified appeals and grievances, and closely monitored quality of services.

Virginians presently eligible for CCC include those who are full Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries (meaning entitled to benefits under Part A and enrolled under Medicare Parts B and D, and receiving full Medicaid benefits), are aged 21 or older, and live in designated regions around the Commonwealth.  For the first time in Virginia, individuals receiving long-term supports and services through nursing facilities and the Elderly Disabled and Consumer Direction (EDCD) Waiver will also be eligible to participate in a managed care program through CCC. 

Secretary of Health and Human Resources, William A. Hazel, Jr., MD, said “CCC will offer enrollees the opportunity to combine all of their existing Medicare and Medicaid benefits into one plan.  That one plan will go beyond the Medicaid and Medicare benefits and provide a care manager from the health plan who will complete a comprehensive evaluation to understand the enrollee’s situation and work directly with the enrollee to develop a plan of care that is tailored to their needs and preferences.”  In addition, plans will offer supplemental benefits that are currently not available in the Medicaid or Medicare programs.  

Eligible individuals will receive letters in the coming weeks notifying them of their eligibility for CCC and providing information on how to enroll in the program.  Letters will include comparison charts of the three health plans and contact information to speak with a trained enrollment representative.  The Virginia Insurance Counseling Assistance Program (VICAP) can provide information and insurance counseling for beneficiaries seeking additional education and support with CCC enrollment.  In the demonstration phase, CCC is available to Virginians in five regions of the Commonwealth: Tidewater, Central, Northern Virginia, Charlottesville, and Roanoke.  For a full list of localities you may visit http://www.dmas.virginia.gov/Content_atchs/altc/altc-anst6.pdf.  CCC enrollment will be phased in by region.  Voluntary enrollment into Commonwealth Coordinated Care for the Tidewater and Central Virginia regions begins March 1, 2014, with CCC coverage starting April 1, 2014.  For the full CCC implementation timeline, please visit the DMAS website at http://www.dmas.virginia.gov/Content_atchs/altc/mmfa-imme2.pdf.

Townhall meetings are scheduled in Tidewater and Central VA for community members and providers to hear more about the CCC program and to speak with representatives from the three available health plans.  This will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about CCC and have questions answered. 

The Tidewater Townhall will be:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Community Member Session 10am-12pm
Providers Session 12pm-2pm
Pincus Paul Social Hall at Beth Sholom Village
6401 Auburn Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23464

The Central Townhall will be:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Providers Session 10am-12pm
Community Members Session 12pm-2pm
Fick Conference Center located on the Mary Washington Hospital Campus
1301 Sam Perry Boulevard, Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Future Townhall events will be scheduled in all CCC regions.  For more information, visit the CCC website at http://www.dmas.virginia.gov/Content_pgs/altc-home.aspx.

Contact: Matthew Moran at (804) 698-1228

Governor McAuliffe today announced the launch of Commonwealth Coordinated Care (CCC), a program that will blend and coordinate Medicare and Medicaid benefits for approximately 78,000 eligible Virginians. As only the third state to implement this type of coordinated care for Medicare-Medicaid enrollees, Virginia has pioneered an innovative, responsive program to provide health care and long-term services and supports to people who often have very complex needs.

CCC is Virginia’s response to years of national research that shows the current structure of the two separate health programs results in cost inefficiency and poor health outcomes due to uncoordinated care.  Governor McAuliffe said “Nationwide, individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid typically have the highest and most complex medical needs but are often undeserved by the misaligned rules and financial incentives of the two separate programs.  CCC will blend all of the benefits currently provided under Medicare and Medicaid into one plan with a designated care manager who will ensure person-centered and efficient health care services are provided. This will not only make it easier to manage the system from the beneficiary’s perspective, this innovative program will bring greater efficiencies and cost savings to the state’s overall healthcare delivery system.”

The development of Commonwealth Coordinated Care began in 2011 when the Virginia General Assembly directed the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) to develop a program that would better meet the needs of Virginians receiving both Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Achievement of this program represents a major reform to Medicaid in Virginia, signifying the readiness of Virginia’s healthcare system to take the next step and accept federal funds to close the coverage gap.

Speaking about the accomplishment, Governor McAuliffe stated, “Now we must continue to improve our healthcare system by bringing $2 billion of taxpayer funds per year back to the Commonwealth to cover hundreds of thousands of Virginians. Every day that we wait, we forgo over $5 million in taxpayer funds that could be used towards ensuring that more of our friends and neighbors have access to the quality healthcare they deserve.”

Three Medicare-Medicaid health plans, Anthem Healthkeepers, Humana, and Virginia Premier have contracted with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and DMAS to provide services under CCC for the four-year demonstration.  The contract commits the parties to a new model of care for Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries that will provide efficiencies and improve the delivery of services to some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens.  The contract includes provisions for person-centered care planning, interdisciplinary care teams, care coordination services, provider credentialing, access to services, unified appeals and grievances, and closely monitored quality of services.

Virginians presently eligible for CCC include those who are full Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries (meaning entitled to benefits under Part A and enrolled under Medicare Parts B and D, and receiving full Medicaid benefits), are aged 21 or older, and live in designated regions around the Commonwealth.  For the first time in Virginia, individuals receiving long-term supports and services through nursing facilities and the Elderly Disabled and Consumer Direction (EDCD) Waiver will also be eligible to participate in a managed care program through CCC.

Secretary of Health and Human Resources, William A. Hazel, Jr., MD, said “CCC will offer enrollees the opportunity to combine all of their existing Medicare and Medicaid benefits into one plan.  That one plan will go beyond the Medicaid and Medicare benefits and provide a care manager from the health plan who will complete a comprehensive evaluation to understand the enrollee’s situation and work directly with the enrollee to develop a plan of care that is tailored to their needs and preferences.”  In addition, plans will offer supplemental benefits that are currently not available in the Medicaid or Medicare programs. 

Eligible individuals will receive letters in the coming weeks notifying them of their eligibility for CCC and providing information on how to enroll in the program.  Letters will include comparison charts of the three health plans and contact information to speak with a trained enrollment representative.  The Virginia Insurance Counseling Assistance Program (VICAP) can provide information and insurance counseling for beneficiaries seeking additional education and support with CCC enrollment.  In the demonstration phase, CCC is available to Virginians in five regions of the Commonwealth: Tidewater, Central, Northern Virginia, Charlottesville, and Roanoke.  For a full list of localities you may visit http://www.dmas.virginia.gov/Content_atchs/altc/altc-anst6.pdf.  CCC enrollment will be phased in by region.  Voluntary enrollment into Commonwealth Coordinated Care for the Tidewater and Central Virginia regions begins March 1, 2014, with CCC coverage starting April 1, 2014.  For the full CCC implementation timeline, please visit the DMAS website at http://www.dmas.virginia.gov/Content_atchs/altc/mmfa-imme2.pdf.

Townhall meetings are scheduled in Tidewater and Central VA for community members and providers to hear more about the CCC program and to speak with representatives from the three available health plans.  This will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about CCC and have questions answered.

The Tidewater Townhall will be:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Community Member Session 10am-12pm
Providers Session 12pm-2pm
Pincus Paul Social Hall at Beth Sholom Village
6401 Auburn Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23464

The Central Townhall will be:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Providers Session 10am-12pm
Community Members Session 12pm-2pm
Fick Conference Center located on the Mary Washington Hospital Campus
1301 Sam Perry Boulevard, Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Future Townhall events will be scheduled in all CCC regions.  For more information, visit the CCC website at http://www.dmas.virginia.gov/Content_pgs/altc-home.aspx.

Contact: Matthew Moran at (804) 698-1228

The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce (DRCC) recognizes the importance of the healthcare industry to the economy and the community. For that reason, it supports appropriate federal and state reimbursement levels that allow primary care providers, specialists, and hospitals to care for patients and reduce the displacement of costs to those who are privately insured. DRCC also supports maximum flexibility to encourage business to provide the best health insurance options for employees in the free market system.

Given action taken at the federal level in the healthcare arena, DRCC remains extremely concerned about the impact of federal healthcare reform legislation on the business community and urges careful consideration of the impact of any policy change or development of regulations in this arena.   Specifically, we are concerned about the lack of predictability, understanding, and action by special interests related to the Affordable Care Act that places many businesses at a disadvantage.

The Dulles Regional Chamber supports legislation that ensures access to affordable and stable group health insurance for all businesses, including sole proprietors and businesses with few employees. DRCC supports legislation that reduces state burdens and provides tax incentives to help small businesses offset the staggering increases in health insurance costs, including incentives that encourage participation in “consumer-driven” healthcare and wellness plans. Further, DRCC supports initiatives that: improve quality and lower costs; encourage fair regulation of the insurance market; build a robust healthcare insurance marketplace for consumers; expand the use of healthcare IT; create an emphasis on prevention, wellness, and personal responsibility; and promote pay-for-performance.  

On the issue of Medicaid, DRCC supports the expansion of Medicaid, concurrent with reform, with both components essential to the outcome.

The Dulles Regional Chamber supports collaborative efforts between healthcare stakeholders, including providers, purchasers, insurers and consumers, to ensure continued innovation, creativity and transformation in the healthcare marketplace. The goals of these efforts should include the following:

Effective communication and education of the many changes in the healthcare laws and marketplace to create an informed consumer;

  • Expansion of healthcare infrastructure (both inpatient and outpatient) to meet community  needs;
  • Preservation of healthcare options in both the provider and insurance markets  that encourage competition to enhance choice and control costs;
  • Increase in the supply of well-trained medical personnel;
  • Effective management of healthcare costs impacting businesses;
  • Promotion of workplace and community wellness initiatives;
  • Increased accessibility of healthcare and insurance;
  • Enhanced quality, choice, unbiased data transparency, and diminished redundancies and waste in healthcare and
  • Appropriate planning for emergency preparedness and public-private partnerships to address pandemic preparedness.

The administration of Gov. Bob McDonnell is considering a “Virginia way” for providing health insurance to the poorest Virginians that relies on private insurance instead of expanding the state’s Medicaid program.

Secretary of Health and Human Resources William A. Hazel Jr. outlined a possible “private option for low-income adults” on Monday that would use billions in federal funds under the Affordable Care Act to buy them health coverage under managed-care contracts with commercial insurers.

The private option follows a path outlined recently by Senate Finance Chairman Walter A. Stosch, R-Henrico, as an alternative to expanding the state’s Medicaid program for almost 400,000 uninsured Virginians who earn less than 133 percent of the federal poverty threshold — less than $16,000 a year, for an individual.

The approach would use private brokers to enroll uninsured adults — primarily parents and childless adults not covered by Medicaid now, no matter how poor they are — in private health plans with commercial benefits at per capita rates that shift the risk of managing their care to insurers.

“This is all doable in a fairly short order of time,” Hazel told the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission at the end of a more than four-hour meeting in Richmond.

The commission could meet again as early as next month — after the gubernatorial election — to determine whether the state has made sufficient progress in reforming its current Medicaid program to allow its expansion or another approach to extending health care coverage to the poor.

McDonnell and the General Assembly created the commission as part of a state budget compromise this year that requires three phases of reforms to be accomplished as a condition for expanding the program to take advantage of more than $23 billion in federal funding to the state over the next 10 years.

The first phase, involving reforms already underway or approved by federal health officials, is expected to save Virginia $118 million to $127 million in state general funds in the next two-year budget — and twice that amount including federal matching funds.

Most of the expected savings will come from the beginning of a managed-care contract in December to administer Medicaid benefits for community behavioral health programs that have been delivered through uncoordinated fee-for-service payments to providers. The behavioral health services administrative contract with Magellan Health Services will save the state alone $67 million over two years.

The full savings estimated in the first phase of reforms will depend on the level of enrollment in a new, federally approved program to coordinate the care of people who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare benefits — one of the biggest cost-drivers in a system that spends two-thirds of its money on the elderly and disabled.

Other reforms underway include moving foster care children into Medicaid managed care insurance — the process will begin in this region on Nov. 1 — bolstering protections against fraud and saving money on a new eligibility and enrollment system paid for primarily with federal funds.

The Department of Medical Assistance Services, the state’s Medicaid office, “if pushed today … could arguably say it has met all the requirements of the budget,” Hazel said.

The legislative commission could vote as early as December on whether to expand Medicaid or some variation of its coverage. Expansion would require approval by three of the five members from the Senate, who generally favor it, and the House of Delegates, who generally do not.

Hazel said the second phase of reforms — aimed primarily at requiring Medicaid recipients to share some of the cost of their care and to take responsibility for preventive care to avoid more costly medical treatment later — also are underway through changes in contracts with seven Medicaid managed care providers.

The final phase will take the longest because it will attempt to manage the care of elderly and disabled people, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities who require expensive community services.

“For the purpose of the budget language, it said we have to have plans (for those reforms),” Hazel said. “It doesn’t say they have to be done.”

Opponents of Medicaid expansion insist on carrying out all of the reforms and measuring the results before even considering extending the program to poor parents, childless adults and some people with disabilities not covered now.

“I believe Virginia should not expand Medicaid no matter how perfect we can make the program,” said Christie Herrera, vice president of policy at the Foundation for Government Accountability, one of several groups that pushed Monday for alternatives for insuring the poor that don’t rely on federal dollars.

“You become more dependent on the federal government, and that is not an option to us,” said Craig DiSesa, representing a Mechanicsville-based advocacy group that held a news conference with other conservative policy organizations before the commission meeting on Monday.

But Hazel is concerned that Virginians would not benefit from $26 billion in new taxes under the Affordable Care Act without expanding Medicaid in addition to an estimated $6 billion in federal subsidies for insurance on the new marketplace. “Absent of Medicaid expansion, we have no way to get our money back,” he said.

Commission Vice Chairman R. Steven Landes, R-Augusta, and other opponents of expansion argued that the federal government cannot afford to keep its commitment under the law to full funding of expansion in Virginia for the next three years and no less than 90 percent of the cost thereafter.

Landes told a representative of private health plans that they also would stand to lose if the federal government backed off the commitment, along with hospitals and providers. “If the funds aren’t there, somebody’s ox is going to be gored,” he told Doug Gray, executive director of the Virginia Association of Health Plans.

Gray responded that insurers are not daunted by the possibility of having to disenroll participants in Medicaid managed care plans, as would be required under the budget language if the government reduces its share of funding.

“We win and lose enrollment on a daily basis,” he said. “To us, it’s not the end of the world to cut some people off.”
Politically, however, the prospect of rolling back benefits alarms lawmakers who fear they would take the blame.

“Who gives them the notice, the state or feds?” asked Del. Johnny S. Joannou, D-Portsmouth. “I’m sure it’s the state sending a letter saying, ‘I’m not insuring you anymore,’ and that’s not right.”

Stosch received an assurance from Gray that contracts between the state and Medicaid health plans would require them to drop coverage if the money isn’t there. “That’s absolutely possible,” Gray said.

Effective July 1, 2013, House bill 2313 (Acts of Assembly 2013, Chapter 766) increases the rate of the statewide Retail Sales and Use Tax and imposes an additional state Retail Sales and Use Tax in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads Regions.

2013 Retail Sales and Use Tax Guidelines

Priority:

  • Protect employers and their employees from any negative impact federal healthcare reform legislation may create as state-level policy and regulations are developed.  

 Dulles Regional Chamber's efforts in the healthcare arena focused on expressing support for the extension and reform Medicaid in Virginia. The House and Senate budgets included very different approaches to this, both which were problematic in that they proposed reform prior to acceptance of the resources associated with the extension of Medicaid. Dulles Regional Chamber strongly advocated that reform and extension happen concurrently so that the resources required for the desired reforms are available to enable implementation of them. The outcome included amendments to the state budget, including language directing simultaneous pursuit of Medicaid reform and expansion. Specifically, the compromise includes the following:

  • Directs Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel and the Department  of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) to develop a “comprehensive value-driven, market-based reform of the Virginia Medicaid/FAMIS programs” in three phases;
  • Authorizes DMAS to pursue the waivers and plans necessary to implement the optional coverage expansion; and
  • Establishes the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission (with ten legislative members, five each from the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committee) whose approval would be required to implement the expansion.

2013 Policy Position

The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce (DRCC) recognizes the importance of the healthcare industry to the economy and the community, and supports federal and state reimbursement levels that do not harm providers or result in a shift of the payment burden to the private sector.

DRCC is extremely concerned with the impact of federal healthcare reform legislation on the business community and urges careful consideration of the impact of any policy change or development of regulations in this arena. DRCC specifically supports legislation that ensures access to affordable and stable group health insurance for all businesses, including sole proprietors and small businesses. DRCC supports legislation that reduces state burdens and provides tax incentives to help small businesses offset the staggering increases in health insurance costs, including incentives that encourage participation in “consumer-driven” healthcare and wellness plans. We support initiatives that improve quality and lower costs, encourage fair regulation of the insurance market, build a robust healthcare marketplace for consumers, expand the use of healthcare IT, create an emphasis on prevention and wellness, and promote pay-for-performance.

 DRCC supports collaborative efforts between healthcare stakeholders, including providers, purchasers, insurers and consumers, to ensure continued innovation, creativity, and transformation in the healthcare marketplace. The goals of these efforts should include the following: 

  • Expansion of healthcare infrastructure (both inpatient and outpatient) to meet community needs;
  • Increase in the supply of well-trained medical personnel;
  • Effective management of healthcare costs impacting businesses;
  • Promotion of workplace and community wellness initiatives;
  • Increased accessibility of healthcare and insurance;
  • Enhanced quality, choice, unbiased data transparency, and diminished redundancies and waste
    in healthcare; and
  • Appropriate planning for emergency preparedness and public-private partnerships to address
    pandemic preparedness.

2012 Policy Position

The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce (DRCC) recognizes the importance of the healthcare industry to the economy and the community, and supports federal and state reimbursement levels that do not harm providers or result in a shift of the payment burden to the private sector. DRCC supports the continued introduction and expansion of healthcare facilities throughout Northern Virginia to increase the availability of quality healthcare services for business owners, employees and their families. 

DRCC supports collaborative efforts between healthcare stakeholders, including providers, purchasers, insurers and consumers, to ensure continued innovation and creativity in the private marketplace. The goals of these efforts should include the following: 

  • Expand healthcare infrastructure (both inpatient and outpatient);
  • Manage healthcare costs impacting businesses;
  • Increase accessibility of healthcare and insurance;
  • Diminish complexity in healthcare;
  • Enhance choice and transparency;
  • Plan appropriately for emergency preparedness and foster public-private partnerships to address pandemic preparedness; and
  • Expand services offered by safety net healthcare providers, such as the Loudoun Community Health Center and Loudoun Free Clinic, so all Loudoun’s residents have access to healthcare.

DRCC is extremely concerned with the impact of federal healthcare reform legislation on the business community.  Looking forward, DRCC urges careful consideration of the impact of any policy change or development of regulations in this arena on the business community.  DRCC specifically supports Virginia’s choice to work toward the creation of a state-controlled Health Benefits Exchange, as required by the federal healthcare reform legislation. We support initiatives that improve quality and lower costs, encourage fair regulation of the insurance market, build a robust healthcare marketplace for consumers, provide expansion of coverage for the uninsured, expand the use of healthcare IT, create an emphasis on prevention and wellness, and promote pay-for-performance. 

DRCC specifically supports legislation that ensures access to group health insurance for all businesses, including sole proprietors and businesses with few employees. DRCC supports legislation that reduces state burdens and provides tax incentives to help small businesses offset the staggering increases in health insurance costs, including incentives that encourage participation in “consumer-driven” healthcare plans. These plans not only can increase the number of catastrophically insured, but also put the individual end-users back in control of economic decisions between themselves and their service providers. 

DRCC opposes any legislation that threatens consumer access to healthcare coverage or contributes to increased health insurance costs for employers and their employees. In our community, DRCC supports exploration of opportunities to provide affordable healthcare to members of the business community, including those without health insurance, through local Health Departments, Free Clinics and Community Health Centers, as well as any other health-related service provider and/or clinic that the market will bear. 

2011 Policy Position

The Chamber supports collaborative efforts between healthcare stakeholders, including providers, purchasers, insurers and consumers, to ensure continued innovation and creativity in the private marketplace. The goals of these efforts should include the following:

  • Expand healthcare infrastructure (both inpatient and outpatient);
  • Manage healthcare costs impacting businesses;
  • Increase accessibility of healthcare and insurance;
  • Diminish complexity in healthcare;
  • Enhance choice;
  • Plan appropriately for emergency preparedness and foster public-private partnerships to address pandemic preparedness; and
  • Expand services offered by safety net healthcare providers, such as the Herndon Free Clinic, so all residents have access to healthcare.
  • Address medical malpractice reform;
  • Grant portability of healthcare insurance across state lines;
  • Endorse cooperative pooling of insurance options for business to enhance affordability.

On the federal level, the Chamber agrees that healthcare reform is needed; however, urges careful consideration of the impact of any policy change in this arena on the business community.  We support initiatives to improve quality and lower costs, fair regulation of the insurance market, efforts to build a robust marketplace for consumers, expansion of coverage for the uninsured, healthcare IT, an emphasis on prevention and wellness, and pay-for-performance.

The Chamber specifically supports legislation that ensures access to group health insurance for all businesses, including sole proprietors and businesses with few employees. The Chamber supports legislation that reduces state burdens and provides tax incentives to help small businesses offset the staggering increases in health insurance costs, including incentives that encourage participation in “consumer-driven” healthcare plans.  These plans not only can increase the number of catastrophically insured, but also put the individual end-users back in control of economic decisions between themselves and their service providers.

The Chamber opposes any legislation that threatens consumer access to healthcare coverage or contributes to increased health insurance costs for employers and their employees.

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2010 Policy Position

The Chamber supports collaborative efforts between healthcare stakeholders, including providers, purchasers, insurers and consumers, to ensure continued innovation and creativity in the private marketplace. The goals of these efforts should include the following:

  • Expand healthcare infrastructure (both inpatient and outpatient);
  • Manage healthcare costs impacting businesses;
  • Increase accessibility of healthcare and insurance;
  • Diminish complexity in healthcare;
  • Enhance choice;
  • Plan appropriately for emergency preparedness and foster public-private partnerships to address pandemic preparedness; and
  • Expand services offered by safety net healthcare providers, such as the Herndon Free Clinic, so all residents have access to healthcare.
  • Address medical malpractice reform;
  • Grant portability of healthcare insurance across state lines;
  • Endorse cooperative pooling of insurance options for business to enhance affordability.

On the federal level, the Chamber agrees that healthcare reform is needed; however, urges careful consideration of the impact of any policy change in this arena on the business community. We support initiatives to improve quality and lower costs, fair regulation of the insurance market, efforts to build a robust marketplace for consumers, expansion of coverage for the uninsured, healthcare IT, an emphasis on prevention and wellness, and pay-for-performance.

The Chamber specifically supports legislation that ensures access to group health insurance for all businesses, including sole proprietors and businesses with few employees. The Chamber supports legislation that reduces state burdens and provides tax incentives to help small businesses offset the staggering increases in health insurance costs, including incentives that encourage participation in “consumer-driven” healthcare plans. These plans not only can increase the number of catastrophically insured, but also put the individual end-users back in control of economic decisions between themselves and their service providers.

The Chamber opposes any legislation that threatens consumer access to healthcare coverage or contributes to increased health insurance costs for employers and their employees.