White House Rescinds Medicaid Waiver In Texas Over Flawed Approval Process
The waiver was approved in the final days of the Trump administration. The Biden administration says it didn't go through the proper notice and comment period.
Biden Administration Rescinds Billions In Medicaid Funding For Texas
A federal waiver granting Texas billions of dollars over the next decade to help cover emergency care for the uninsured was abruptly rescinded Friday, a move that could upend the state’s health care safety net and adds pressure on Republican leaders hesitant to expand Medicaid. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in a letter that it had incorrectly allowed Texas to forgo the normal comment period when applying for an extension of its 1115 waiver, which reimburses hospitals in the state for uncompensated care. (Blackman, 4/16)
Biden Admin Throws Out Texas Medicaid Waiver
The Biden administration on Friday unwound a 10-year extension of Texas' Medicaid waiver, arguing that the Trump administration should not have approved its more than $100 billion request without going through the usual notice and comment period. Texas asked CMS to fast-track an extension of its Medicaid waiver, which mostly covers uncompensated care costs, in November. At the time, the state said it needed an exemption from the usual public comment period to ensure financial stability for providers and the state's Medicaid program during the COVID-19 public health emergency. (Brady, 4/16)
The Washington Post:
Trump Tried To Shrink Medicaid. Here's How Biden Will Try To Expand It.
The Trump administration spent four years trying to reshape Medicaid to make it fit conservative priorities. But now the Biden administration is trying to pull it in a different direction. President Trump pushed states to weed out ineligible enrollees and greenlit work requirements in exchange for benefits. But President Biden – and, if confirmed, his nominee to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Chiquita Brooks-LaSure -- are expected to push to get more people on the Medicaid rolls. (Ellerbeck and Cunningham, 4/19)
In other Medicare and Medicaid updates —
Mississippi Investigating Medicaid Drug Services Provider Centene
The state auditor and Mississippi attorney general are investigating whether Centene Corp., as a provider of Medicaid drug services, failed to disclose discounts on pharmacy services, inflated dispensing fees and received reimbursements for amounts already paid. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost made similar allegations in a lawsuit. “Corporate greed has led Centene and its wholly owned subsidiaries to fleece taxpayers out of millions,” he said. “Centene has broken trust with the state of Ohio, and I intend to hold this company accountable for its deceptive practices.” (Mitchell, 4/18)
Payers, Providers Clash Over Telehealth Reimbursement As Congress Mulls Changes
As members of Congress decide how to expand access to telehealth after the pandemic, one of the biggest questions has centered around how much Medicare providers should be paid for virtual care. While the rates Medicare pays for telehealth and in-person services are currently the same, that arrangement—along with several other CMS telehealth waivers—expires at the end of the public health emergency absent Congressional action. (Hellmann and Tepper, 4/16)