Friday Five – November 10, 2017

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November 10, 2017

In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about changes to the Medicaid waiver process, the ongoing effort and impacts of reauthorizing CHIP funding, and legislative efforts to expand Medicaid funding for drug addiction.

1. Medicaid chief says Feds are willing to approve work requirements

Seema Verma, head of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), tells state Medicaid directors that waivers proposing work requirements can be approved, according to Kaiser Health News. This would be a change in policy, reduce the number of eligible enrollees, and likely lead to a court challenge. 

2. CMS adjusts Medicaid 1115 state innovation waiver processes

In addition, CMS has modified the Medicaid 1115 waiver application process. HealthPayer Intelligence reports that the changes are designed to streamline and speed up the application, approval, and implementation processes.

3. Children’s health bill clears House as states struggle to keep programs afloat

Authorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) expired October 1. The New York Times reports that while the Senate has yet to vote or finalize their bipartisan plan, the House recently passed a five-year funding authorization despite disagreements about how to provide the funds. 

4. Medicaid costs to rise by $671 million, but inaction on children’s health insurance could cost state extra $195 million

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Virginia anticipates more than $670M in additional Medicaid costs over the next three years, which represents a slowdown in the growth of Medicaid spending caused by moving additional recipients into managed care programs. The projection does not include additional funding needed if CHIP remains unauthorized.

5. Bipartisan push to expand Medicaid spending on drug addiction

As overdose deaths rise throughout the country, legislation has been introduced to expand how Medicaid funding can be used for treating addiction. The Honolulu Civil Beat reports on a proposal that would allow Medicaid to pay for treatment at large residential facilities, although there are concerns about how it would be financed.



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