Just after her Senate confirmation as Administrator of the Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS), Seema Verma joined HHS Secretary Tom Price in a letter to governors on their commitment to work together to improve the Medicaid program. The letter states that the federal framework for Medicaid has not “kept pace with emerging evidence around the factors that drive improvements in health outcomes” and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion was a “clear departure from the core, historical mission of the program.” The letter highlights CMS’ commitment to a “new era for the federal and state Medicaid partnership,” by:
- improving state and federal program management,
- supporting innovative approaches to increase employment and community engagement,
- aligning Medicaid and private insurance policies for non-disabled adults,
- creating reasonable timelines and processes for Home and Community Based Services and finally,
- providing states with more tools to address the opioid epidemic.
This letter aligns with comments from both Secretary Price and Ms. Verma to provide states with increased flexibility in the Medicaid program. As this conversation continues, we will be following new developments at both the CMS and state level and will keep you all updated.