On Friday, June 14th, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) released its annual report to Congress. MACPAC was created to assess the adequacy of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) payments, much the way the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) reports on the adequacy of Medicare payments. (More information on MedPAC’s June 2013 report to Congress is available here.)
Highlights of MACPAC’s June 2013 report include:
- Medicaid and CHIP eligibility and coverage for maternity services: The MACPAC report discussed the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) mandated maternity care coverage provisions and its impact on current Medicaid eligibility. The report also discussed trends related to Medicaid- and CHIP-covered benefits and services.
- Increased payments to primary care providers under Medicaid: The ACA mandated that in 2013 and 2014, Medicaid reimbursement for primary care services must be increased to Medicare rates, with the federal government funding the full cost of this increase. MACPAC interviewed six states – Alabama, California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Rhode Island – and the District of Columbia and identified some challenges related to implementation of this provision.
- Persons with Disabilities’ access to care: MACPAC examined access to care for Medicaid-only disabled adults under age 65 who are living in the community. Generally, existing research suggests this population’s access to care is similar to that of disabled individuals who have other insurance. However, MACPAC identified three areas of concern for the low-income disabled population: (1) challenges with adequate training in medical schools to address this unique population, (2) access to necessary equipment and services, and (3) access to dental services.
- Update on Medicaid and CHIP data: MACPAC discussed CMS’ efforts to improve the availability, accuracy, and timeliness of Medicaid and CHIP data to be available to researchers.
- Medicaid program integrity update: MACPAC discussed federal and state efforts of reducing waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicaid program. MACPAC noted there are some federal and state programs which are duplicative and other areas where additional attention may be warranted.
- Medicaid and CHIP program statistics: Because of the challenges in collecting Medicaid and CHIP data, MACPAC included data pertaining to Medicaid enrollment and spending trends, characteristics of the Medicaid and CHIP populations, and Medicaid managed care trends.
A copy of MACPAC’s press release announcing its June 2013 report is available here.