In the News: Apr 25–May 2

Anthem’s MA Enrollment Grows 14% After SDOH Benefits

A recent Forbes article discusses how Anthem’s Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollment grew 14% in the first quarter of 2019 after the introduction of a new social determinants of health (SDOH) benefits package providing enrollees with coverage for things like transportation and healthy meals.

New benefits, specifically designed to address SDOH, are beginning to attract more and more seniors to MA. CMS is also changing regulations so MA plans can provide broader coverage, which is expected to continue accelerating enrollment growth. This year, MA enrollment rose to over 22 million people across the US, and additional supplemental benefits may further fuel MA enrollment growth; some project growth may increase to nearly 40 million seniors, or half the US’s Medicare population, in the next 5 years.

Insurance companies like Anthem are taking advantage of the broad benefits offered by MA to address enrollees’ SDOH and keep them healthy. As MA continues to grow, Sg2 believes that health systems must develop an MA strategy that fits their market dynamics and organization. To read more on key drivers of MA growth, read the Sg2 report Medicare Advantage: Too Big to Ignore.

Health Systems Join Community Behavioral Health Initiative

A recent Business Wire article describes the April 23 launch of the Medicaid Transformation Project’s Behavioral Health Initiative. Twenty-eight health systems across the country have committed to this initiative, which intends to find ways to improve behavioral health access and outcomes using technology and clinical best practices while managing the financial impact of behavioral health on organizations.

This specific initiative is tailored to address the Medicaid population’s behavioral health needs because annual spending on Medicaid beneficiaries with mental health conditions is almost 4 times that of their peer beneficiaries. During the first meeting, the initiative gathered more than 100 leaders from the 28 participating health systems to create a comprehensive behavioral health strategy.

Community partnerships are becoming a critical component of the behavioral health System of CARE as demand for behavioral health services continues to grow. These partnerships are being leveraged to address specific needs of various already-existing populations, including the Medicaid population. To learn more about successful community partnerships in behavioral health, please read the Sg2 FAQ Behavioral Health Community Partnerships.

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