Pennsylvania Celebrates 20th Anniversary of HealthChoices Program; Highlights Necessity of Providing Affordable, Quality Care Healthcare, Medicaid Expansion, Press Release, Seniors Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced that the Department of Human Services (DHS) celebrated the 20-year anniversary of HealthChoices, Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program. Since implementation in February 1997, the program has expanded to cover all 67 counties and serves over 2.8 million children, individuals with disabilities, pregnant women, and low-income Pennsylvanians by providing primary and specialty care, preventative care, dental care, prescription drugs, and behavioral health services.“The success of the HealthChoices program highlights why Pennsylvania needs to continue to provide affordable, quality care to residents who need it most,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “While Pennsylvania’s Medicaid system is providing quality medical care and timely access to services, Republicans in Washington are proposing to roll back coverage. Their proposal would pull the rug out from under our most vulnerable citizens, including seniors, children, and individuals with disabilities, by slashing their health care and putting their lives at risk.”In 2015, Governor Tom Wolf announced Medicaid expansion. As a result, over 700,000 more Pennsylvanians have enrolled in HealthChoices. Of those 700,000 individuals, almost 125,000 have received vital drug and alcohol treatment which has been instrumental in battling the opioid and heroin crisis. If Republicans in Washington rolled back Medicaid, these Pennsylvanians would be robbed of the opportunity to seek substance use treatments, which would exacerbate our already crippling opioid and heroin crisis.In the recently revealed Republican health care proposal, Medicaid expansion would be scrapped, future reimbursement for states would be capped, and people with pre-existing conditions may no longer be guaranteed coverage. This would force more people to rely on the emergency room for uncompensated care, which translates to higher costs for all of us, and likely push many small and rural hospitals in Pennsylvania to close.“Over the last two decades, the department has delivered access to critical health care to Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable. HealthChoices has given Medicaid recipients access to a wide array of services in a cost-effective manner through a more streamlined, consumer driven system,” said DHS Secretary, Ted Dallas. “ Any rollback of Medicaid could be fiscally devastating to the commonwealth or force us into rationing care for Pennsylvanians, which is unconscionable.”Currently, Pennsylvania has the lowest uninsured rate in the state’s history at 6.4% for the general population and 4.1% uninsured rate for children.Provider enrollment in the MA program has also increased. Today more providers than ever are enrolled in the Pennsylvania MA program, increased from 92,801 in 2014 to 108,776 currently.“One of the department’s main goals is to provide access to high-quality services. The HealthChoices program does just that,” said Dallas.Key design features of HealthChoices have contributed to its success over the long term:Inclusivity – MA recipients of all ages and most eligibility groups, including older Pennsylvanians and individuals with disabilities, participate;Focus on special needs – The definition of special needs for HealthChoices recipients is not limited by clinical diagnosis allowing for individuals to access treatment easily;Comprehensive array of services;Enrollment assistance – enrollment specialists provide accurate, unbiased information to enrollees to help them select their health plan;Continuous open enrollment – MA recipients may request a health plan change at any time;Consumer choice – participants are able to choose from the participating health plans;Health home – Access to primary, preventative, and specialty care through their primary care provider; andOngoing public input through consumer committees.For more information on the HealthChoices program, visit www.HealthChoicesPA.com. March 01, 2017 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
The Environment Agency is holding a public drop-in session at Calstock next week to explain how potential works could reduce flood risk to local homes and businesses, and benefit the environment.According to EA, the current embankment by the River Tamar which protects Calstock from flooding is in poor condition and needs replacing.Dan Boswell of the Environment Agency said: “The existing flood defense embankment in Calstock protects property and community assets but is in poor condition and unsustainable in its current position. By moving it inland it can be maintained to a better standard to increase its effectiveness at reducing flood risk and allow the creation of inter-tidal habitat to help offset the impacts of rising sea levels on wildlife.”The Calstock plan includes:managing flood risk to the community, and the impacts of climate change;protecting the environment and visual landscape of Calstock and the Tamar Valley as an important recreational amenity;enhancing the environment by attracting additional wildlife to the improved local habitat on land reconnected to the river.The drop-in session on the proposed work will take place in the Kelly Room of Calstock Arts on Wednesday 8 November 2017, from 3pm to 8pm.[mappress mapid=”24577″]
Justin Sirgarny is blazing a trail.The 14-year-old Jamaican has been burning up the rcae track and is about to power down in the Formula 4 United States Honda Championships at its season-opener at the Homestead-Miami Speedway from April 8-9.Sigarny will pilot the Global Racing Group black, white and green stripped No. 39 F4 U.S. car and is one of 30 drivers representing eight countries from five continents in the championships.Sirgany became part of Global Racing Group’s unique driver development programme earlier this year. The programme aims at the F4 U.S. Championship and prepares drivers for the next phase of their professional motorsport careers.Young Sirgany started out racing go karts and has taken the checkered flag on more than one occasion during go kart meets at the Palisadoes race track and Dover in his country.
The Lakers’ timetable on Bryant’s recovery also means he could either return at some point during training camp in Hawaii or just before the 2015-16 season starts. “In my mind, he’s coming back next year,” Scott said, “unless he tells me something different.”Bryant tore his left Achilles tendon on April 2013 and returned eight months later. But Bryant played only six games in the 2013-14 season before fracturing his left knee. In his 19th NBA season, Bryant averaged 22.3 points albeit on a career-low 37.3-percent shooting through 35 games before aggravating his right shoulder last week in New Orleans. Bryant then sat out the past three games while making various doctor visits before determining he would have surgery.Bryant became the fourth Lakers’ player to have a season-ending injury, including veteran guard Steve Nash (back), rookie forward Julius Randle (right knee) and reserve swingman Xavier Henry (left Achilles). “The biggest thing with Kobe is as long as (the media) are saying that he’s done, he’s going to come back,” Scott said. “He proved this year that he has a lot left in the tank and is still one of the best players in this league. If you guys keep saying he’s done, that’ll help him as well.”Scott may believe Bryant has a lot left in his tank. But Scott sounded cognizant Bryant will have to play with far more efficiency than a gas-guzzling vehicle. Scott originally pledged to play Bryant between 30 to 40 minutes per game during the 2014-15 season. But after Bryant averaged 35.4 minutes per game in the Lakers’ first 27 contests, Scott scaled back Bryant’s workload in hopes to improve his energy and shooting accuracy. Bryant sat in eight of the next 16 contests and missed most practices and shootarounds before injuring his shoulder.“For Kobe, play him at mid to low 20s minute-wise, but you have to have some horses to be able to do that,” said Scott, before looking ahead to free agency in July. “A lot of it depends on what guys we bring in.”The Lakers will have about $24 million to spend, roughly enough to offer a maximum-salary contract to one play. The Lakers also only have Bryant, Randle, Nick Young and Ryan Kelly under guaranteed contracts, leaving the Lakers with as many as 11 roster spots to fill. Hence, why Scott considered Bryant’s health “super important” in attracting potential stars. Scott added that Bryant will “absolutely” play in active part in recruiting free agents.But first things first. Bryant’s nine-month rehab begins. A long nine months await Kobe Bryant as he sits out the remainder of the 2014-15 season.The Lakers’ star will go through tedious amounts of rehabilitation after having a two-hour surgical procedure Wednesday to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. Exhaustive debate will ensue on whether the 36-year-old perennial all-star can both play at an elite level and stay healthy following his third season-ending injury in the past three years. Yet, the Lakers remain confident Bryant will return for the 2015-16 campaign and play out the final year of his contract that will pay him $25 million. “I expect Kobe to make a full recovery and, if all goes as expected, he should be ready for the start of the season,” Dr. Neal ElAttrache said in a statement. Both ElAttrache and Dr. Steve Lombardo completed the surgery on Wednesday at the Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles. The Lakers (13-34) already enter Thursday’s game against the Chicago Bulls (30-17) at Staples Center fielding adversity. They have the NBA’s fourth-worst record, part of which included the team going 2-9 without Bryant. The Lakers’ nine-game losing streak also brings them one defeat shy of tying the franchise record set in April, 1994 for most consecutive losses in a season. “If that happens, I’m going to feel pretty messed up,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “But right now, I’m trying to go through the process of trying to get us better, seeing some of our young guys and develop some of those guys.”Scott reported Bryant sounded in “great spirits” during a five-minute phone call Wednesday morning before surgery. Scott also joked Bryant texted him and consoled him Tuesday evening following the Lakers’ loss against Washington. But nothing matches the ominous cloud surrounding Bryant’s future. Bryant plans to wear a sling to protect his right shoulder in the next six weeks. But the rest of his rehabilitation after that currently remains unclear. “All I know is that it’s pretty painful,” Scott said, “and the rehab is long.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error