Capitol Correspondence - 04.27.23

CMS Releases Proposed Access-Related Rules

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This afternoon, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released two long-awaited proposed rules related to access: Ensuring Access to Medicaid Services and Medicaid and CHIP Managed Care Access, Finance and Quality.

For decades, ANCOR has emphasized the crucial role of CMS—as well as the Secretary of its overarching federal agency, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services—in ensuring states provide sufficient payment to offer high-quality care and enlist enough providers so that care and services are available to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) who rely on them. Accordingly, ANCOR is pleased that CMS has published its long-anticipated proposed rules to address barriers to access within the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services program.

Addressing the sufficiency of payment rates has long been a top priority for ANCOR. For decades, payment rates have been permitted to languish and stagnate, creating a workforce crisis in community-based settings that threatens access and increases the risk of hospitalization and institutionalization of people with disabilities. Underinvestment in payment rates is evidenced by the inability of providers to offer wages that compete with hourly wage industries such as fast-food restaurants, retail, and convenience stores.

ANCOR applauds CMS for seeking to better implement the requirements of the equal access provision and states’ statutory duty to assure adequate payment rates. However, successful implementation of new requirements is dependent on the rule’s ability to address stagnant and inadequate payment rates. We will continue to engage CMS, our members, and our stakeholder partners as we analyze these proposed rules and their impact to offer support and solutions to people with I/DD relying on these critically important services.