CMS Introduces Medicaid Scorecard

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, MPH, unveiled a scorecard for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The scorecard evaluates each state based on program implementation and the health outcomes of beneficiaries. This is the first time the federal government has used a scorecard to make comparisons between states.

Covering a combined total of 73.5 million Americans, Medicaid and CHIP are both federally and state-funded. States implement the programs with guidance from the federal government, resulting in variations among states in determining who is eligible for which benefits.

The scorecard rollout is a part of the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to give states more leeway in implementing federal health-care law. The administration announced earlier this year that it would permit states to implement work requirements for Medicaid recipients, which several states now do.

Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, commended the federal government for its efforts, but cautioned that differences in how the state programs are implemented can make direct comparisons of outcomes misleading.

There are no current plans to incorporate scorecard results into funding formulas, but Ms. Verma left open the possibility that future scorecards could include additional measures such as the proportion of Medicaid beneficiaries in the workforce.

Source: The Washington Post, June 4, 2018.