“[…] While details of the potential rulemaking are scarce, a notice on the White House’s Office of Management and Budget website said the regulation is projected to be released in May 2019.
Just the suggestion that states could cut Medicaid transportation to medical appointments already has providers on edge. Annual Medicaid spending for these trips is around $3 billion, with roughly 103 million non-emergent medical trips each year, according to researchers.
Medicaid enrollees already have a high no-show rate, and that could get worse if the CMS finalizes the rule, according to Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, a practicing pediatrician in Indianapolis and associate professor of clinical internal medicine and pediatrics at Indiana University.
Many Medicaid enrollees lack access to vehicles due to their low incomes. There are also few public transportation options in Indiana, especially in rural areas, Rohr-Kirchgraber said.
Currently, states have to obtain a waiver from the CMS if they don’t offer non-emergent transportation services. The Trump administration first floated the idea of changing that policy earlier this year in its 2019 budget proposals.
Iowa and Indiana are the only states with a waiver to opt out of providing transportation. Kentucky and Massachusetts have both asked the CMS for similar permission.”
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