Health Exchange Meeting Focus on Business Operations

Today, staffs from the Governor’s Office, the Department of Health and the Department of Financial Services held a meeting on the state’s plans for a health benefit exchange.  The bulk of the meeting was presented by the Wakely Consulting Group, from Boston, who the state has hired as an exchange consultant.  The presentation covered primarily business operations aspects of the exchange, including an operations blueprint, exchange set up, core systems, outreach and marketing, quality health plan management and regulatory compliance and reporting.  Materials distributed in the meeting can be found here.

There were some questions related to essential health benefits under the exchange, but little information was gleaned.  The Governor’s office said that there will be information forthcoming.

Business interests had questions related to the Health Exchange IT systems.  Staff explained that IT concerns were one reason (among others) why the health exchange framework in the Governor’s budget proposal was important.  They also said that there will be a session exclusively on IT in the near future.

Patient advocates provided comment and questions on enrollment periods, consumer communications, appeals processes and language access.  With the exception of language access, no new information was offered.  In some of these areas, the state is seeking clarifications from the federal government.  On language access, staff indicated that they are mindful of this issue and that the systems they are reviewing allow for multiple languages.  There are also existing state requirements related to multilingualism.  Apparently, there will be additional language access recommendations soon.

The last issue raised concerned executive compensation and whether the Governor’s Executive Order would apply to health exchange personnel.  No answer was provided.

-Jaime Venditti, 2/17/12