Friday Five – March 30, 2018

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March 30, 2018
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about the importance of Medicaid in the opioid battle, new federal health care funding, cost concerns over work requirements, and how states fare after Medicaid expansion.

1. Medicaid’s critical role in addressing the opioid crisis

Medicaid is the primary source of federal funding for addiction prevention and treatment and provides coverage for more than 1/3 of the individuals seeking medical help for substance abuse. This articles from Manatt summarizes two recent briefs that focus on the vital role Medicaid plays in addressing the expanding opioid epidemic.

2. Medical research, drug treatment, and mental health are winners in new budget bill

The most recent federal budget deal doesn’t include stabilization measures for the Affordable Care Act, but NPR reports that it does include funding for the opioid crisis, medical research, mental health, and more health-related items.

3. Top Dems call on CMS to release cost of Medicaid work requirements

According to Modern Healthcare, two Senators have requested information on the administrative costs for verifying eligibility for Medicaid work requirements and premium cost-sharing. This request follows concerns that implementation would be prohibitively expensive.

4. CMS rule change would ease state reporting on Medicaid access

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed changing reporting requirements for states that have more than 85% of their Medicaid population in managed care organizations. Health Leaders Media reports that this change would affect 17 states, exempting them from some monitoring requirements and offering more flexibility for changes to payment rates.

5. Do states regret expanding Medicaid?  

Overall, states that expanded Medicaid do not regret it and have found little to no financial costs in doing so, regardless of their political affiliation. The Brookings Institute found that most arguments against Medicaid expansion were inaccurate and that states were unlikely to experience negative financial repercussions from expansion.