CMS Easing Rules on Medicaid Changes

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is trying to allow states greater flexibility to change their Medicaid programs without asking the federal government for special waivers, a top health official said here Thursday.

For example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has tried to ease regulations in recent months -- beginning last August -- to allow states to create integrated delivery models for Medicaid without such waivers, Cindy Mann, JD, said at a meeting of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC).

More recently, CMS allowed states to increase patient cost-sharing for using nonpreferred drugs or making unnecessary emergency department visits, said Mann, who is director of Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at CMS.

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