The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law on March 11, 2021 as a signature effort to assist in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic downturn. Included as part of the sweeping legislation is a program to fully subsidize COBRA coverage for six months starting in April of 2021. This expert perspective provides a short overview of COBRA and mini-COBRA, the major elements of the ARPA COBRA Assistance program, and considerations for state policymakers related to the program.
Reducing Overuse and Misuse: State Strategies to Improve Quality and Cost of Health Care
Bailit Health Purchasing—Megan Burns, Mary Beth Dyer, and Michael Bailit
Overuse and misuse of health care services are problems that affect both quality and cost of care. Experts estimate that perhaps one-third of all U.S. health care spending produces no benefit to the patient–and some of it actually results in harm. This issue brief focuses specifically on the key purchasing strategies that state Medicaid agencies and state employee health benefit purchasers can implement in order to reduce the overuse and misuse of health care services, and improve the quality and reduce the cost of care. This brief primarily focuses on actions state purchasers can take with contracted plans, providers, and other engaged purchasers to reduce overused and misused services.
Based on the issue brief, the webinar presentation focuses on actions state purchasers can take with contracted plans, providers, and other engaged purchasers to reduce misuse and overuse of health care services. Neal Kohatsu MD, MPH offers insight on overuse and misuse from his perspective as Medical Director for the California Department of Health Care Services.