Trump administration drafting ‘scorecard’ for Medicaid changes

The Trump administration is working on a “scorecard” with states that will measure how well the changes they make to Medicaid are working, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed.

“The scorecard is still in development and is a priority for CMS,” an agency official told the Washington Examiner. “We have been working with states on its development to ensure it’s a collaborative process and isn’t a ‘federal government knows best’ approach to providing greater transparency and accountability of the Medicaid program.”

A specific timeline wasn’t provided but the document is expected later this year. The news follows recent changes to Medicaid that are being allowed by the Trump administration, including authorizing programs in which certain recipients would be required to work, volunteer or enroll in classes as a condition of receiving medical coverage. Medicaid is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and comes at little or no cost to beneficiaries.

Though the work and community engagement programs in states contain multiple exemptions, critics worry that people who meet the requirements would still become uninsured because they wouldn’t be able to keep up with the additional paperwork. People on Medicaid are generally low income, have disabilities, or care for another person.

Part of the scorecard’s aim would be to measure the possible outcomes that result from the requirements. Possibilities include states tracking how many people are no longer enrolled in Medicaid, and whether they left the program because they were able to obtain health insurance themselves, obtain it through a job, or whether they instead became uninsured.

According to a speech in which CMS Administrator Seema Verma previewed the scorecard, the documentation would use data from states to track whether positive health outcomes had resulted from the policies, and will be available to the public. It would measure items like outcomes in children’s health, how well the program is being carried out and measuring the effects of treatment and prevention.

“We not only owe it to the beneficiaries we serve both young and old, but to the taxpayers funding them to make sure that our investments are actually producing positive health outcomes and helping our recipients lead better, more independent lives,” Verma said.

CMS has the authority to allow states to make changes to some of the Medicaid program through a waiver process, though the latest requirements are being challenged in court.

This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner

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