On September 17, 2019, Tennessee released its proposal to block grant most of the funding the state’s Medicaid program (TennCare) receives from the Federal government. If approved by CMS, the amendment to the state’s longstanding 1115 waiver program would make Tennessee the first state in the nation to move to a true “block grant” format for Medicaid funding. A draft of the proposed waiver is available on the state’s website —… More
Last Fall, we wrote about a proposed regulation issued by the Department of Homeland Security that involved one of our favorite topics: the intersection of immigration and health care law. My colleague Christian Springer and I have been following this proposed regulation very closely, and last week, it was issued in final form. Because it has generated enormous press attention and because it has significant implications for the Medicaid program,… More
We have long covered the handful of lawsuits that have been filed over the past several years concerning Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (“DSH”) payment policies. These lawsuits all revolve around some steps that CMS had taken in recent years to exclude payments made for dual-eligible (Medicaid and Medicare) patients and payments made by private insurers from DSH hospitals’ uncompensated care costs. CMS promulgated a rule to this effect,… More
On July 25, 2019 the Senate Finance Committee voted to advance their long-awaited drug pricing package to the Senate floor (we anticipate a Floor vote sometime this Fall). The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act (PDPRA) of 2019, as the package is called, proposes numerous drug pricing reforms across Federal healthcare programs (including Part B and Part D), but for today’s blog post we will focus on some of the many Medicaid provisions included in the final mark-up.… More
Last week, CMS issued a proposed rule as part of a broader Administration-wide initiative to reduce regulatory and administrative burdens. The proposed rule would absolve states from many of the requirements of a final regulation issued by CMS in 2015 that requires states, before reducing or restructuring payments in their Medicaid programs, to conduct a review (called an access monitoring review plan, or AMRP) of the effect of the proposed rate reductions or restructuring on access to services. … More
On June 19, the House of Representatives passed the funding bill for the Department of Health and Human Services for fiscal year 2020. CMS is funded in this annual legislation and this funding bill is often a vehicle for Congress to express its support or displeasure for some of CMS’s activities during the year.
This year’s bill is no different. Section 239 of the legislation (H.R.… More
On June 4, 2019, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health, held a hearing entitled “Investing in America’s Health Care.” Among other topics covered at the hearing was the future of the Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payment system, a topic that we have written about in the past. Unless Congress acts, Medicaid DSH payments will be cut by $4 billion on October 1,… More
We have talked previously on this blog about ongoing efforts by the Administration to reform drug pricing, including efforts to dramatically revamp the way in which health plans and their PBMs (including Medicaid MCOs) negotiate drug discounts. At the state level, PBMs have been under fire in recent years, with several State Medicaid agencies alleging a lack of transparency in contracts with the states.… More
We have written in the past about the link between Medicaid and immigration. Last October, we described a proposed rule issued by the Department of Homeland Security that would strengthen the “public charge” grounds for inadmissibility to the United States. If this proposed rule is finalized, many non-U.S. citizens seeking immigration benefits (such as a visa, adjustment in status or naturalization) could see those benefits denied if they utilized public benefits such as Medicaid.… More
One of the things that gets drummed into your head working with Medicaid is this: Medicaid is a payer of last resort. Medicaid can only pay for a health care service when there is no other payer available. If a Medicaid beneficiary has virtually any other source of health insurance coverage, that coverage pays first.
This requirement is set forth in the basic rules of the Medicaid program;… More