Capitol Correspondence - 07.16.18

CMS Rolls Back Medicaid Payments of Union Fees

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According to Governing:

“The Trump administration on Tuesday proposed rolling back an Obama-era rule that allows Medicaid payments to be diverted to unions supporting home health care workers.


In the announcement, Tim Hill, acting director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, alluded that the Obama-era rule may be illegal. [ANCOR note: the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services is part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).]

‘This proposed rule is intended to ensure that providers receive their complete payment, and any circumstances in which a state does divert part of a provider’s payment must be clearly allowed under the law,’ said Hill.

For the most part, federal law prohibits Medicaid payments from going to anyone other than a provider. But the Obama administration created an exception to this rule in 2014 and allowed some unions to take a cut of home health care aides’ Medicaid payments.

Eleven states — California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Washington, Vermont — plus Washington, D.C., let home health aides unionize. On the flip side, Michigan and Ohio both passed bills in recent years stripping home health aides of their public-sector status.”

ANCOR became alert to this issue in May 2018, when Senator Ron Johnson wrote a letter to CMS to request a review of this practice. We will keep ANCOR members informed of any future developments.