Ohio News Briefs

Ohio releases 2nd report card on Medicaid managed care plans

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A state report card has found that health plans serving most Ohioans in the Medicaid program are doing average or better when it comes to how their doctors communicate with them.

Ohio Medicaid officials recently released the state’s second annual performance evaluation for all five managed care plans serving about 2.4 million poor and disabled Ohioans on the program, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

The plans receive one, two or three stars in each of five performance categories: keeping kids healthy; women’s health care; access to care; helping those living with chronic illness; and doctors’ communication and service.

CareSource received the highest marks, earning 13 of a possible 15 stars. Buckeye Health Plan got the lowest score at eight stars, which was the same score it received last year.

State Medicaid Director John McCarthy said the report card aims to inform consumers and provide incentives for the health plans to improve their services.

“It puts information in the individual’s hands so they can pick a managed care plan and creates competition among plans,” McCarthy said.

The card is based on data provided by the plans and patient surveys. The plans were rated based on comparisons with each other so all would not be able to receive perfect scores or the lowest ones.

Of the 3 million enrolled in tax-funded Medicaid in the state, about 80 percent are in managed care.

Miranda Motter, president and CEO of the Ohio Association of Health Plans, said the association “continues to support efforts that better engage Medicaid consumers and bring greater transparency to the health care delivery system.”

Treasurer, auditor team up on spending-transparency effort

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s treasurer and auditor have joined forces to make it easier for local governments to share financial information online.

The effort announced this month by Treasurer Josh Mandel and Auditor Dave Yost is an extension of fiscal transparency efforts that have been expanding in the state for almost two years.

Mandel’s office launched an online checkbook of state spending information in December 2014. That site has since expanded to include pension funds and some local governments, school districts and universities. Ohio’s Office of Budget and Management brought the state’s entire accounting system online in June.

The latest effort integrates OhioCheckbook.com with the Auditor’s Uniform Accounting Network, a “one-stop shop” for local governments to submit year-end financial reports and checkbook-level spending information.

Dayton man charged with murder in death of foster son, 2

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio man has been indicted on murder and other charges in the death of his 2-year-old foster son last year.

The Montgomery County prosecutor says 37-year-old Torace Weaver, of Dayton, also was indicted on counts of endangering children, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, assault and obstructing official business.

No attorney was listed in court records for Weaver, who will be arraigned next month.

The prosecutor says emergency personnel were called to a Dayton church on Nov. 18 on a report of a toddler who wasn’t breathing. He died at a hospital.

The prosecutor says Weaver said the child fell from a table, but medical checks and an autopsy showed the boy had bruising, scars and a large burn.