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State Medicaid directors plea for local flexibility

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FierceHealthPayer reports that state Medicaid directors want the federal government to “work with states to determine access-to-care measures in the program — measures they say should account for factors such as telemedicine initiatives and varying provider capacity in different geographies.”

Fierce reported that in  a letter  to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) said it would be “inappropriate” for CMS to, in the news service’s words, “set standard thresholds for access to care in the government insurance program for low-income individuals. Such an approach, the NAMD said, would limit states’ ability to set access thresholds that incorporate the nuances of their respective healthcare landscapes.”

Such CMS-identified indicators  as appointment times, wait times and call-center times provide a “reasonable framework” for measuring access to care, according to the NAMD.

But, the group asserted, the agency “shouldn’t prescribe {across the board} the same federal benchmarks for states as diverse as New York and Alaska, for example.”

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