Health Center Regulatory Issues

MACPAC Takes a Look at Health Centers

[UPDATED] Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) has released an issue brief on Medicaid payments and health centers as a follow up to their session on “Considering Medicaid Payment to FQHCs” earlier this fall.  As background, MACPAC is a non-partisan agency that provides analysis for Congress on Medicaid and CHIP issues including payment, eligibility, enrollment access and quality issues.  The Commission was created in the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009, and is a companion to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).  It is made up of 17 commissioners who serve as experts in various aspects of the Medicaid and CHIP programs.  The Commission holds several in-person meetings each year and releases two reports annually that serve as a resource for Congress and the Administration.

At the October meeting, MACPAC assembled a panel of FQHC experts:

  • Ralph Silber, CEO of Community Health Center Network and Executive Director of the Alameda Health Consortium;
  • Naderah Pourat, Director of Research at UCLA Center for Health Policy Research; and
  • Claudia Scholsberg, Senior Deputy and Interim State Medicaid Director for Washington D.C.’s Department of Health Care Finance

Each panelist provided their perspective on health centers, including an overview of the national data on health centers from Pourat, an in-depth discussion of the importance of Medicaid and health centers and their payment reform efforts from Silber, and a discussion about the recently developed Alternative Payment Methodology in Washington D.C. from Scholsberg. The Commissioners then had the opportunity to ask questions of the panelists. Questions focused on quality and payment issues, flexibilities under current statute for health centers to participate in payment reform efforts, the impact of social determinants of health, telehealth issues, and coordination with other safety net providers in the community.

There was no public discussion about next steps, but Commissioners will review the meeting materials and decide if the Commission will make any recommendations to Congress regarding FQHCs.

NACHC staff will continue to monitor MACPAC and update health centers and PCAs about any new developments on their work.