Noteworthy News

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CMS Shares Vision for Medicaid

Medicaid is about to undergo major changes, CMS administrator Seema Verma outlined in a news release yesterday and in a speech to state Medicaid directors. According to the news release, those changes include: re-establishing a state-federal partnership that Verma believes has become too much federal and not enough state giving states greater freedom to innovate offering new guidelines for how states can align their individual programs with federal Medicaid objectives new guidance on section 1115 waivers longer section 1115 waivers with simpler review processes CMS willingness to consider proposals to impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries Medicaid and CHIP “scorecards” [&hellip

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

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