Op-Ed: New Managed Care Program Seeks to Improve Quality of Care for Medicaid Patients

Beginning on January 1, Medicaid recipients in our area will be transitioned to a new managed care program that was created to better meet the physical and behavioral health care needs of patients. The program is intended to give patients more control over their health care decisions. That is why it is critical for local participants to understand the program so that they can get the most out of it and better manage their health.

The Community HealthChoices (CHC) program offers participants the chance to choose their own primary care practitioner and select from one of three health plans: AmeriHealth Caritas, PA Health & Wellness, and UPMC Community HealthChoices. Each of the three plans includes the same kind of basic services that all Medicaid patients already receive, such as office visits, blood tests and X-rays, as well as additional services that some participants may not be receiving, such as wellness programs.

The new managed care plans will replace and enhance the services Medicaid recipients currently receive from Area Agencies on Aging and other government contractors. The new program will not reduce or eliminate any services for recipients. However, it is worth noting that different plans have different providers in each network.

Individual health plans can be selected based on each patient’s unique medical needs and circumstances. Patients can get tips on choosing a primary care practitioner and compare health plans to find the right mix of services online at www.enrollchc.com. A sortable list of hospitals including their health plans is also available on this site.

The 14 counties in the southwestern region will be the first to transition into the new system. All Pennsylvanians will have access to the CHC system by the beginning of 2020.

Additional information on providers and available health plans is available online at www.enrollchc.com or by calling the CHC Helpline at 1-844-824-3655, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. The latest edition of my monthly cable television program – Focus on the 46th – also highlights important information relating to the new managed care program and can be viewed at www.senatorbartolotta.com.  

I encourage local Medicaid participants to learn more about the options offered by the new program to ensure they receive the best care and services possible. If local residents have questions or need assistance, my office is also available to help connect them to available resources.

CONTACT: Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463