Capitol Correspondence - 06.22.21

June MACPAC Report to Congress Analyzes Non-Emergency Medical Transportation

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Because non-emergency medical transportation is an important support that our members offer to people with disabilities, we flag this update from the June report to Congress of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission:

“The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) released its June 2021 Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP  today, recommending that Congress take measures to address the effect of high-cost specialty drugs on state Medicaid programs and take steps that would improve access to mental health services for adults and children and adolescents enrolled in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The report also contains additional topics of interest to Congress such promoting integration of physical and behavioral health care through electronic health records (EHRs), the non-emergency transportation (NEMT) benefit in Medicaid, and state strategies for integrating care for people who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. […]

Chapter 5 fulfills a congressionally mandated report on Medicaid’s NEMT benefit. Federal law requires that state Medicaid programs ensure transportation to and from providers. MACPAC reviewed state policies, conducted interviews with stakeholders, analyzed administrative data, and held focus groups to examine beneficiaries’ experience using NEMT and state approaches to administering the benefit. While the share of Medicaid beneficiaries who use NEMT is relatively small, it plays a vital role in facilitating access to care for those who rely on it. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how states are using technology to improve program performance and addressing concerns about program integrity.”

Congress mandated that MACPAC report on NEMT following attempts by the Trump administration to make the service optional instead of mandatory, causing Congress to intervene. Congress codified the NEMT benefit as mandatory at the end of 2020.

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