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MACPAC Discusses New Medicaid-related Initiatives at April Meeting

April 27, 2012—The Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) met April 19 to review and discuss new federal-state initiatives and chapters in its upcoming June report to Congress. Commission staff and guest presenters updated MACPAC on activities relating to the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) Office of Health Policy and the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office (MMCO).

Richard Kronick, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary in the ASPE Health Policy Office, updated the commission on the development of a federal Medicaid access monitoring system. The ASPE is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on policy development and coordination. The monitoring system will assess state-level access to care for both children and adults enrolled in Medicaid. Dr. Kronick described the identification of available data sources, gaps in data, and the different approaches to measuring access at the state level.

Melanie Bella, director of MMCO, updated the commission on her office’s integrated care demonstrations, and the dual eligibles state profile project. In July 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced two joint federal-state demonstration models that would align services and payments for both capitated and managed fee-for-service (FFS) programs.

The ultimate goal of the demonstration models is to develop a more simplified system of services that is easier to navigate for beneficiaries, while reducing financial misalignments. The MMCO is also in the process of publishing qualitative and quantitative data on each state’s dual eligible population, which is expected to be released in the spring of 2012.

Finally, the MACPAC staff updated members on chapters in the June report to Congress. These chapters will highlight access and utilization of Medicaid services for non-elderly adults, along with a description of data used for monitoring access to care. MACPAC’s March report  and additional information about the commission are available on the MACPAC website. The next meeting is scheduled for May 22.


Scott Wetzel, M.P.P.
Lead, Quality Reporting
Telephone: 202-828-0495


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