Federal Officials Extend Medicaid Waiver For Mass.
The waiver will change how hospitals are paid and will test new delivery system models.
The Hill: CMS Extends Medicaid Waiver In Massachusetts
The federal government on Tuesday extended a Medicaid waiver in Massachusetts, which was first implemented as part of then-Gov. Mitt Romney's healthcare overhaul. The waiver will now run through 2014. It is focused primarily on efforts to improve the cost and quality of the Medicaid program and better coordinate care. The waiver provides incentives for hospitals to improve their efforts to integrate their services (Baker, 12/20).
Boston Globe: US Extends Medicaid Waiver For Massachusetts
The federal government approved a plan yesterday that extends Medicaid funding for the state's innovative health insurance law through mid-2014 and shifts the way hospitals that treat a large portion of poor patients are paid. ... The waiver is key to funding the 2006 health care law that provides subsidized insurance plans for low-income people and requires most state residents to have health insurance (Conaboy, 12/20).
AP/MSNBC: Mass., Feds Agree To $26.7B Health Care Extension
(Gov. Deval) Patrick praised the three-year, $26.7 billion Medicaid waiver — a $5.7 billion increase over the previous waiver. Patrick said the money will help the state preserve existing eligibility and benefit levels in Medicaid and Commonwealth Care programs. Commonwealth Care is the subsidized insurance program established by the state's landmark 2006 health care law (LeBlanc, 12/20).
CQ HealthBeat: Massachusetts Gets Waiver Continuing Its Health Coverage Law
The law in Massachusetts that has elevated coverage levels in the state to the point where more than 98 percent of its residents have health insurance has hinged on a key "waiver" — and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services has now extended it (Adams, 12/20).
Politico Pro: Massachusetts Medicaid Waiver Approved, Key To State's Reform
Some of the funds will also go to test new delivery system models aimed at containing the state's high health costs. The nearly $27 billion waiver provides an additional $5.7 billion to restructure the state's Safety Net Care Pool to "promote health system and payment transformation, and to undertake several innovative new programs to advance children’s health care coverage and parents' access to health care coverage," CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner wrote in a letter to the state on Tuesday (Nocera, 12/20).