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MACPAC Releases March Report to Congress

March 18, 2016—The Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) March 15 released its March 2016 Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP.  The report contains one recommendation to Congress.

The first three chapters of the March report are comprised of MACPAC’s Report to Congress on Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) Payments [see Washington Highlights, Feb. 5]. Due to limited availability of data, MACPAC was unable to find a meaningful relationship between DSH allotments and data relating to: changes in the number of uninsured individuals; the amount and sources of hospitals’ uncompensated care costs; and the number of hospitals with high levels of uncompensated care that also provide access to essential community services for low-income, uninsured, and vulnerable populations. 

In an effort to better target DSH allotments and payments, the commission recommends that the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary collect and report hospital-specific data on all types of Medicaid payments for all hospitals that receive them.  Additionally, the commission recommends the HHS Secretary collect and report data on the sources of non-federal share necessary to determine net Medicaid payment at the provider level. 

The report also examines Medicaid integration of behavioral and physical health services.  While the commission notes that research suggests integrating behavioral and physical health services improves patient outcomes and reduces costs, it states that integration may be more complicated in practice with differing conditions among patients requiring different approaches to integration.

The final chapter of the report continues with MACPAC’s effort to consider how to best provide affordable coverage to low and moderate-income children. The commission’s analysis of out-of-pocket spending for children in exchange coverage compared to CHIP found that exchange coverage does not provide the same out-of-pocket protections provided by CHIP, and differences between CHIP and exchange coverage are greatest above the 200 percent federal poverty level.  The commission plans to release recommendations on the future of children’s coverage by the end of 2016. 


Len Marquez
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-862-6281


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806