New HHS Initiatives Aim To Help States Improve Medicaid Administration
On Thursday, HHS announced four initiatives aimed at giving states more flexibility to improve the administration of their Medicaid programs, CQ HealthBeat reports.
Care for Dual Eligibles
For one of the initiatives, HHS announced that it would provide 15 states with up to $1 million each to develop strategies to improve care for dual eligibles, who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid (Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 4/14).
California is one of the 15 states that will receive the funds, along with Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin (Nashville Business Journal, 4/14).
States can use the funds to study strategies for:
- Avoiding duplication of services;
- Expanding access for dual eligibles;
- Improving care; and
- Lowering costs (CQ HealthBeat, 4/14).
Computerized Enrollment Systems
For the second initiative, CMS issued a final rule announcing that the agency will cover 90% of the costs for states to develop and upgrade electronic enrollment systems for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. CMS also will pay 75% of ongoing operational costs for the electronic systems, up from an earlier 50% federal matching rate (Goedert, Health Data Management, 4/14).
According to CMS, the final rule also establishes performance standards designed to improve efficiency and promote a "more consumer-friendly enrollment process" (Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 4/14).
For the third initiative, CMS proposed new rules that aim to provide states with more flexibility to help people with disabilities obtain in-home care.
The rules would allow people with disabilities to weigh in on how their services are structured (CQ HealthBeat, 4/14).
Coverage in New JerseyFor the fourth initiative, HHS approved a New Jersey demonstration project designed to expand health care coverage to nearly 70,000 low-income residents through the state's Work First New Jersey program (Modern Healthcare, 4/14). 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.