UnitedHealthcare, Cigna and Assurant Health do not plan to offer policies via Missouri's health insurance marketplace next year, but they might choose to participate in the future. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Aetna and subsidiary Coventry Health Care, and Centene are expected to offer policies.
Missouri officials signed a $147 million contract with EngagePoint, based in Florida, to create an online Medicaid enrollment system. The Affordable Care Act requires that state Medicaid enrollment systems communicate with the health insurance exchange used in the state. Missouri's exchange will be run by the federal government.
Missouri health systems are participating in accountable care organization projects to test the new care coordination and provider payment system. Mercy Health began participating in a CMS pilot in 2005. An official with the system said higher quality of care meant higher costs, at least in the short term. Mercy has been named among more than 100 participants in the next ACO initiative, which will emphasize preventive care and early intervention.
A $15 million grant awarded to the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing means advanced practice registered nurses will be sent to nursing facilities in St. Louis to help care providers identify changes in patient health and prevent hospitalizations, says professor Marilyn Rantz. Recently admitted to the
Institute of Medicine, Rantz says her membership will help the school achieve its goal of ensuring seniors benefit from its research into care quality and aging in place.