AHA Taking Advantage of Comment Period on Assured Access

Public letter addressed directly to CMS Administrator Seema Verna

Making the most of the comment period, the American Hospital Association directly addressed CMS Administrator Seema Verna in a letter posted on the Association’s website last week.

“The AHA is deeply disappointed that CMS has chosen to rescind the current regulatory requirements for states to assess their Medicaid provider payments to determine if such payments affect beneficiary access to care,” read the communication. “While the AHA shares CMS’s goal of reducing the regulatory burden on the health care system, we believe that it is paramount that burden reduction efforts selectively target those burdens that are harmful, duplicative or provide no value.”  

The letter was a response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed rule to rescind requirements that states assess their Medicaid fee-for-service (FFS) provider payments to determine if they are sufficient to ensure beneficiary access to covered services. 

The AHA, however, pointed out the importance of states’ ability to determine whether provider rates are sufficient to ensure access to care. What may be the case in California may not be so in West Virginia, for example.

The AHA is deeply concerned that CMS has chosen to abandon access review and monitoring requirements. CMS’s oversight of state Medicaid provider payment changes and the implications for access is the last safeguard remaining to ensure access to covered services for vulnerable Medicaid populations,” reads the final paragraph. “Therefore, the AHA strongly urges CMS to withdraw this proposed rule to rescind the current regulatory requirements.”

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