HHS ‘Backlog’ of State Medicaid Waivers ‘Cleared’
HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson announced yesterday that the department has "cleared a backlog" of 396 proposed amendments to state Medicaid programs -- some pending for several years -- since the Bush administration took office Jan. 20. According to an HHS release, the department has approved 346 of the 396 proposed state Medicaid plan amendments. HHS officials estimate that the amendments, in addition to separate amendments and waivers for state Medicaid and CHIP programs, have expanded eligibility to more than 1.4 million individuals and improved benefits for about 3.5 million individuals. In addition to the backlogged amendments, the department has approved more than 650 proposed amendments and waivers to state Medicaid and CHIP programs since Jan. 20. "Eliminating the backlog has been one of our major goals for this year," Thompson said, adding, "Through these state plan amendments and waivers, states have expanded eligibility, improved access to quality care and assisted individuals who are elderly or have disabilities to live in their own homes and communities" (HHS release, 10/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.