ACCSES has provided a sample comment and there is a link at the bottom of this email that takes you directly to the CMS page to comment to CMS that you feel that rescinding the Medicaid Access Rule would eliminate the requirement that states set provider reimbursement high enough to allow access to services.   Comments are due by tomorrow!  It’s very quick and easy.  Just follow the directions below:

CMS Proposes Rescinding Access Rule

On July 15, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule rescinding the Medicaid Access Rule.  The Medicaid Access Rule is CMS’s means of enforcing the statutory requirement that states set provider reimbursement rates high enough to allow people to access the services and supports that they need.  States are currently required to create an access monitoring review plan (AMRP) and to monitor selected Medicaid services.  The proposed rule eliminates that requirement.  ACCSES believes that the Access Rule should be strengthened, not weakened.  Comments are due by TOMORROW, September 13.

You can use the statement below:

“I am writing to urge the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services to develop a comprehensive system to ensure that states provide Medicaid reimbursement rates that are adequate and people with disabilities can access needed services and supports.

Inadequate reimbursement rates can mean that people may not get the supports they need to live in the community or will have to remain on waiting lists.  Inadequate reimbursement rates contribute to low wages and high turnover rates for the Direct Support Professionals (DSP) that provide essential supports for people with disabilities.

In a January 2019 rate rebasing study, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services recommended that reimbursements be increased to provided enough state-funded support for a base DSP hourly wage of $14.11.  The state only supports DSP wages at a $9.50/hour level now, as a result of appropriations in the FY 2020 state budget.

Clearly, the Supreme Court’s decision in Armstrong vs Exceptional Child Center, Inc. limited the ability of service providers and Medicaid recipients from seeking appropriate reimbursement levels to ensure access to long-term services and supports (LTSS).  In fact, the decision put the onus of responsibility back on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to use its authorities to ensure adequate LTSS access.

I urge CMS to strengthen the current Medicaid access rule by broadening who it covers and how it is done.  People with disabilities, their family members, advocates and providers must be able to rely on effective regulations to enforce the Medicaid law and ensure access to critical services.”

Take action here.