Archive for Medicaid

 

Medicaid APMs Moving in New Directions

For the most part, states’ use of alternative payment models in their Medicaid programs so far have focused on the work done by primary and acute-care providers.  Now, a number of states are starting to extend their use of APMs in other areas, including:

  • behavioral health providers
  • safety-net providers
  • long-term care providers

For a look at what states are doing to drive value in Medicaid payments in these new areas, see the Commonwealth Fund article “The Next Generation of Paying for Value in Medicaid,” which can be found here.…

Proposed “Public Charge” Regulation Could Hit Medicaid, Hospitals

If a regulation proposed by the Department of Homeland Security to redefine what constitutes a “public charge” is adopted, millions of people currently enrolled in the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program might choose to disenroll from those programs rather than risk losing their opportunity to obtain legal permanent resident status in the U.S.

The proposed regulation seeks to filter out of possible residency status individuals who might become public charges, or dependent on government programs, over time.

A new analysis published by the Kaiser Family Foundation concluded that

Under the proposed rule, individuals with lower incomes, a health condition, less education, and/or who are enrolled or likely to enroll in certain health, nutrition, and housing programs would face increased barriers to obtaining LPR [legal permanent residency] status.

The study notes that

Nearly all (94%) noncitizens who originally entered the U.S. without LPR status have at least one characteristic that DHS could potentially weigh negatively in a public charge determination.

To avoid losing eligibility for legal permanent residency status, the analysis suggests,

 The proposed rule would likely lead to disenrollment from Medicaid and other programs among noncitizens who intend to seek LPR status as well as among a broader

DSRIP Evolves

Medicaid Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment waivers, unleashed by the Affordable Care Act and other Obama administration initiatives, sought to foster a greater focus on value in the delivery of health care.  Medicaid DSRIP waivers typically provided new Medicaid funds to health care organizations that met performance goals for improving the quality of care, improving health care outcomes, and improving health care infrastructure in ways that improved care quality and outcomes.  To a significant extent, early DSRIP programs helped protect Medicaid payments to hospitals that were jeopardized by hospital-specific and state-wide upper-payment limit problems.

State DSRIP initiatives are now moving in another direction – away from supplemental funding and toward different approaches and objectives.  The latest generation of DSRIP waivers:

  • are less hospital-oriented and more focused on broader partnerships of different types of providers and not just hospitals;
  • place a greater emphasis on behavioral health; and
  • seek to spread value-based purchasing to a larger portion of Medicaid services, such as those covered by Medicaid managed care organizations and accountable care organizations.

Learn more about how DSRIP programs have evolved in the article “Medicaid Delivery System Reform Incentive Payments: Where Do We Stand?,” which can be found here, on the …

MACPAC Meets

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission met recently in Washington, D.C. to review a number of Medicaid- and CHIP-related issues.

MACPAC members heard presentations on and discussed the following issues:

Find outlines of these subjects and additional materials by clicking the links above and go here for a transcript of the two days of public meetings.

MACPAC is a non-partisan legislative branch agency that provides policy and data analysis and makes recommendations to Congress, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the states on a wide array of issues affecting Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.  While its recommendations are binding on neither the administration nor Congress, MACPAC’s work is highly influential and often finds its way into future Medicaid and CHIP policy.

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CMS Reinforces Need for Budget Neutrality in Medicaid Waivers

States that seek federal waivers for permission to employ new approaches to serving their Medicaid population will have to pass more rigorous tests to ensure that those new approaches are budget-neutral, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced.

In a detailed letter to state Medicaid directors, CMS outlines some of the current methodologies employed by states to demonstrate the budget neutrality of their waiver requests and details instances in which it will judge those methodologies differently in the future.  A news release accompanying the letter explains that

….this letter marks the first time that CMS has formally outlined how states must calculate budget neutrality for demonstration projects, in order to strengthen fiscal accountability. The guidance also comes a day after Administrator Seema Verma testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Accountability Committee on improper payments in the Medicaid program, which often result in higher federal spending.

The news release also states that

“CMS welcomes smart new approaches to coverage and delivering care through Medicaid demonstration projects, but we won’t approve them without a careful analysis of their impact on taxpayers. Federal spending on the program has increased, growing by over $100 billion between 2013 and 2016,” said