Medicaid in the headlines: 7 recent updates

North Carolina officially implemented Medicaid expansion, and CMS laid out plans to crack down on states violating federal laws around Medicaid redeterminations. 

Here are seven Medicaid updates Becker's has reported since Nov. 28. 

  1. Many children with Medi-Cal face long wait times for behavioral health appointments, a California state audit found. Over 40% of urgent psychiatry appointments had wait times longer than 96 hours, and for those wait times that exceeded the limit, patients had to wait an average of 13 days for urgent visits. 
  1. California's Medicaid program overhaul is improving access to social services, but many health plans, nonprofit community organizations and other stakeholders say reimbursement rates are not covering the full cost of services. 
  1. CMS laid out how it will sanction states that do not comply with Medicaid redetermination requirements. In an interim final rule issued Dec. 3, the agency said it will take several actions against states that do not comply with federal Medicaid eligibility rules or reporting requirements. The interim rule takes effect Dec. 6. 
  1. North Carolina's Medicaid expansion program began Dec. 1. An estimated 600,000 people will be eligible for full Medicaid coverage, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Nearly 300,000 who had limited Medicaid family planning benefits were automatically enrolled on the first day of expansion. 
  1. Fourteen states gave managed care organizations payments for Medicaid enrollees for months after beneficiaries had died, a series of HHS Office of Inspector General audits found
  1. Along with seven other national organizations, the American Hospital Association is raising concerns about certain CMS Medicaid policy proposals that could harm state access to provider-based funding sources.
  1. In a bid to overcome continued financial setbacks, Greenwood (Miss.) Leflore Hospital could begin receiving over $10 million in extra Medicaid supplement payments annually, the hospital's interim CEO, Gary Marchand, told Becker's. 

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