CMS has now approved 29 Medicaid Section 1135 waivers in an effort to give states’ Medicaid programs additional flexibility to augment their COVID-19 response by relaxing certain federal requirements. Observers say they anticipate more states approaching CMS with similar requests as the crisis progresses, although the waivers may not streamline care very much for managed care organizations operating within state Medicaid programs. Jeff Myers, senior vice president of reimbursement strategy and market access at Catalyst Healthcare Consulting, says some of the waivers address “things the plans are trying to do anyway,” such as fixing the provider enrollment process. The true impact on plan operation may not be large, Myers tells AIS Health.
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