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CMS Offers States New Medicaid Path for Opioid Treatment

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued new guidance to states advising them on how they can use section 1115 Medicaid waivers to improve access to treatment for Medicaid recipients struggling with opioid abuse problems. According to the 14-page guidance letter from CMS to state Medicaid directors, CMS is now offering a more flexible, streamlined approach to accelerate states’ ability to respond to the national opioid crisis while enhancing states’ monitoring and reporting of the impact of any changes imsplemented through these demonstrations.  As the opioid crisis continues to raise alarm and highlight the need for better [&hellip

NAUH Asks House to Renew CHIP and Delay Medicaid DSH Cuts

In a message sent to every member of the House of Representatives, NAUH conveyed its support for key provisions in HR 3922, the Championing Healthy Kids Act. Those provisions include renewal of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and a two-year delay in implementation of mandatory cuts in Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments to states.  NAUH asked House members to seek a bipartisan agreement to adopt and pay for these important measures. See NAUH’s message to House members here

New Rules Facilitate Integration of Physical, Behavioral Care

New federal regulations are facilitating better integration of physical and behavioral health services for the Medicaid population. Two developments, in particular, are advancing this integration:  the 2016 Medicare managed care rule and a 2016 rule implementing the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.  Together, these rules encourage providers to perform comprehensive assessments of their patients, increase flexibility for providers in how they use Medicaid payments, and pave the way for improvements in the use of information technology that foster better integration of physical and behavioral medical care. A new issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund presents in [&hellip

Despite Uncertainty, States Plan to Raise Medicaid Rates

Even though events in Washington leave the future of Medicaid unclear, 44 states still intend to raise at least some of their Medicaid rates in 2018. Inpatient payments to hospitals are not among the major targets of the planned rate increases:  only 17 states plan to increase Medicaid inpatients payments while the others plan to keep those rates as they are or even reduce them. Learn more about trends in Medicaid enrollment, spending, and rates in the Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual survey of state Medicaid programs, the results of which can be found here

Braving the Unknown, States Increase Medicaid Benefits

Despite the prospect of Congress and the administration enacting major reductions of federal Medicaid spending as part of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, more than half the states expanded their Medicaid programs in 2017 and many plan to do so in 2018 as well. In all, 26 states expanded or enhanced Medicaid benefits this year while 17 plan to do so next year.  Most of the changes involve enhancing mental health and substance abuse treatment services. Learn more about expanded Medicaid benefits in the face of anticipated reductions in Medicaid spending in this Healthcare Finance News report

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