The White House Disability Call for March 2012 occurred on March 30, 2012 at 2:30pm. The featured speaker for this call was Ari Ne’eman, board member of the National Council on Disability (NCD). Mr. Ne’eman’s nomination to the NCD was confirmed by the US Senate in June of 2010. Mr. Ne’eman is one of the youngest presidential appointees in history and is the first person with autism to be appointed to the NCD.
The NCD recently made recommendations on managed care to the President and to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These recommendations are not yet part of White House Policy. Mr. Ne’eman discussed the NCD’s work on Medicaid Managed Care. MedlinePlus has an article that defines managed care plans. The NCD has seen how each state has used Medicare for different managed care models for healthy adults, the elderly, and people with disabilities. The NCD conducted a project on managed care. This project found that people fear managed care systems due to a belief that benefits will be lost if there is a switch to such a system. On the other hand, the project also found that managed care systems have benefits for people with disabilities: there are opportunities for enhancing the quality of care and for reducing costs. As part of the project, case studies were conducted in different states, including Arizona, and these studies found that the manager/beneficiary ratio in managed care is dependent on the population being served. The costs savings will be seen 10-15 years after the switch is made to managed care in Medicare. The report describing the results from the NCD project will be released this autumn.
At the end of the call, Mr. Kareem Dale announced that the President will sign a Proclamation making April 2, 2012 World Autism Awareness Day. The President’s proclamation is available for reading.