Maryland Could Lose In Medicaid Reimbursements

Armen Hareyan's picture
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MarylandDeputy Health Secretary John Folkemer on Friday told members of the state House Health and Government Operations Committee that the state could lose as muchas $75 million in federal Medicaid matching funds if new CMS paymentregulations take effect, the Baltimore Sunreports. The regulations -- which were announced on Dec. 3, 2007, and takeeffect on March 3 -- would establish new requirements for reimbursing Medicaidcase-management services, which help beneficiaries access needed services suchas home care and transportation to physician offices. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that total payments to all states' programs would be reducedby about $1.52 billion (Wheeler, Baltimore Sun, 2/2).

According to Dennis Smith, director of the Center for Medicaid and StateOperations, the cuts are intended to prevent state and local governments fromusing Medicaid funds on programs that are not directly related to health care.

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Marylandspends about $150 million annually on case management services for Medicaid;about half of that amount comes from the federal government. Folkemer said thecuts would affect care for as many as 200,000 residents (Witte, AP/WashingtonTimes, 2/2)."Every single program we have in the state is out of compliance with thesenew regulations," Folkemer said, adding, "We think there really wouldbe a reduction in the services provided and in our ability to managethem."

A group of U.S. senators is introducing legislation that would delay theregulation until April 2009, and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) in a letterto HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt requested that theregulation be rescinded (Baltimore Sun, 2/2).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up foremail delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.

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