Health Center Federal Policy, Uncategorized

Outstanding Grassroots Effort on Medicaid Health Information Technology Incentive Payment Fix – Fate of the Larger Package Unclear

by Heather Foster, MPH
As you likely remember from last week’s Health Centers on the Hill blog post, we have been advocating for a technical change that would require that states pay Medicaid health information technology incentive (HIT) payments directly to health centers, rather than having health centers work with each eligible provider to have the provider reassign such payments over to the health center.  Last week, NACHC got word that there might be one final package containing multiple health care “fixes” moving through Congress that the HIT fix could be included in.

While we still do not know the ultimate outcome of the package, we wanted to take a moment to say thank you for the tremendous grassroots effort last week asking your Senators to support inclusion of the Medicaid HIT incentive payment fix in any year-end package moving through Congress.  There was a phenomenal outpouring of support from Capitol Hill for including our HIT fix in the emerging package as the result of your efforts.

However, the final outcome of the package is still undetermined.  Congress is currently working on wrapping up a Continuing Resolution for FY2011 funding (see related blog post here), the New START Treaty, and then may recess for the year. That being said, it is possible that a very small package of unopposed health care provisions could still move by unanimous consent.  We will be sure to keep you apprised as soon as we have any new news to report.

In the meantime, please be sure to review the NACHC issue brief on reassigning incentive payments in case a legislative fix is not enacted shortly.