HHS To Provide Support for States To Improve Medicaid IT Systems
On Wednesday, HHS announced two steps to help states develop and improve Medicaid information technology systems to prepare for the implementation of health insurance exchanges under the federal health reform law, Government Health IT reports.
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
For the first step, CMS released a notice of proposed rulemaking describing how states could obtain increased funding for activities related to Medicaid enrollment and eligibility determination.
The current federal matching rate for investments in Medicaid IT systems is 50%. Under the proposed rule, state Medicaid programs could qualify for a 90% federal match for developing and designing new IT systems and a 75% federal match for maintaining and operating the systems (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 11/3).
States must meet certain performance criteria to be eligible for the higher matching rates, such as effective coordination with state health insurance exchanges. The 90% federal match will be available until Dec. 31, 2015, and the 75% match will be available beyond that date if states continue to meet certain criteria, according to CMS.
The proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register on Nov. 8 (Goedert, Health Data Management, 11/3).
For the second step, CMS released initial guidance to help states design and implement IT systems for Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and health insurance exchanges (AHA News, 11/3).
The IT systems aim to help individuals enroll in public health insurance programs or obtain the tax credits and cost-sharing reductions available under the federal health reform law.
Joel Ario, director of HHS' Office of Health Insurance Exchanges, said the newly released guidance will provide a framework to help individuals determine whether they qualify for various health insurance programs (Government Health IT, 11/3).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.