Friday Five: Are residents isolated in home and community-based care? CMS releases new guidance.

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March 29, 2019
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about Medicaid expansion, resident isolation in home and community-based care, CIOs’ role in improving digital services, a judge’s decision to block Medicaid work requirements, and a wave of Medicaid changes that could be coming to your state.

1. Holdout states tiptoe toward Medicaid expansion under Obamacare

Federal funding for expanding Medicaid eligibility to individuals with incomes up to 138% of the poverty line became available after the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010. Fourteen states have not yet opted in. According to CNN, several of those states are now making moves toward Medicaid expansion through legislation or ballot initiatives.

2. CMS releases guidance for Medicaid home and community-based care

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released new guidance to help states determine whether group homes, assisted living facilities, or home-based care isolate residents from the larger community. According to this article in Governing, prior to this clarification, many states have been unsure about how to define “isolation” and determine if facilities met Medicaid funding requirements.

3. How federal CIOs can improve the government’s digital services

In this blog published on LinkedIn Pulse, the author recommends ways that federal Chief Information Officers (CIOs) can help improve digital services. These include providing a modern information technology infrastructure, recognizing their role in providing digital services and improving customer experience.

4. Federal judge again blocks states' work requirements for Medicaid

On Wednesday, a federal judge blocked the implementation of Medicaid work requirements in Kentucky and the continuation of those already in place in Arkansas. According to NPR, eight states have already received approval for Medicaid work requirements, while seven have waivers currently pending. CMS has stated that the rulings will not impact approval, and some predict that the issue will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.

5. Trump greenlights major Medicaid changes

The Trump administration has approved state Medicaid waivers that could trigger major changes. According to Pew’s Stateline blog, this includes implementing work requirements, requiring payment of premiums, “locking out” recipients for missing deadlines, and eliminating rides for medical appointments and retroactive coverage.

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