CMS Administrator and CMCS Director Share a Strategic Vision for Medicaid and The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

“… Our proactive policy agenda for CMCS focuses on three key areas: Coverage and Access, Equity, and Innovation and Whole-person Care. Under each area, we are committed to pursuing this policy agenda for Medicaid and CHIP in actionable, measurable ways. These three key areas also align with the larger vision for CMS as a whole and the agency’s six strategic pillars.”

“Working alongside states is essential to executing this agenda, as is recognizing the operational, fiscal, and other realities at the state level. We are committed to providing the active communication, support, and tools that states need to be full partners in operating and improving the Medicaid and CHIP programs to advance these strategic focus areas. This includes actionable, timely technical assistance and guidance navigating cross-cutting policies, and funding support where appropriate. What’s more, this partnership is not limited to states. CMCS will also pursue every avenue to engage with providers and other stakeholders, especially people and their families who are covered by Medicaid and CHIP.”

“For all three focus areas, collecting, understanding, and using data is essential, as is making this information transparent to stakeholders. This includes prioritizing collection of data on race, ethnicity, language, disability status and other factors, and using those data to identify disparities in access, health outcomes and quality of care. We can also build on existing efforts to provide new and more transparent data on access, quality and experience of care across both fee-for-service and managed care delivery systems. And ultimately, we need to make it easier for eligible people to enroll in Medicaid and CHIP and keep their coverage. That’s why partnering with states to improve data collection and modernize eligibility and other systems is key to ensuring that all individuals can access and maintain their coverage more easily, while preserving program integrity. That means making sure we are paying the right provider the right amount for services and people covered under our programs—protecting people under care while also minimizing unnecessary burden on providers.

  • Focus Area 1: Coverage And Access

We will use every lever available to protect and expand coverage for all eligible people and to adopt a broad view of access to care that includes provider availability, quality, culturally and linguistically competent care, and reductions in gaps in coverage. This focus area is also guided by the CMS strategic pillar of building on the ACA, and expanding access to quality, affordable health coverage and care…

  • Focus Area 2: Equity

We are dedicated to measuring disparities and making targeted, evidence-based investments in improving health equity. While Medicaid is a driver of health equity, the data tell us that significant racial disparities within Medicaid persist. Advancing health equity is a key priority for the Biden-Harris Administration and also a CMS strategic pillar. Health equity will be at the forefront of all policy decisions for Medicaid, not an afterthought…

  • Focus Area 3: Innovation And Whole-Person Care

Finally, we will continue to encourage innovation in value-based care, delivery system reforms and whole-person care in Medicaid. Our approach includes partnering with states to ensure the health care system considers and supports the whole of a person’s needs: physical health, behavioral health, oral health, long-term service and supports, and health-related social needs. We must address longstanding gaps in areas such as behavioral health, as well as explore how Medicaid can contribute to addressing health-related social needs (e.g., nutrition and homelessness or housing instability) …” Read the full article here.

Source: A Strategic Vision for Medicaid And The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – By Chiquita Brooks-LaSure and Dan Tsai, November 16, 2021. Health Affairs.

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