NCD Offers Analysis of Medicaid Block Grants and Self-Direction

NEWS RELEASE

May 22, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD – The National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency that advises the President, Administration, Congress, and other federal agencies on disability policy, is today releasing two new Medicaid policy publications at the Medicaid Managed Care Congress in Baltimore, MD – one on the topic of Medicaid block granting and the other on Medicaid self-direction. NCD’s Entitlements Committee Chair, Ari Ne’eman, will brief conference attendees on research, policy, and practice considerations outlined in NCD’s analyses during a standalone session of the Medicaid Managed Care Congress’s Administrative and Financial Implications track.  

Titled “A Medicaid Block Grant Program: Implications for People with Disabilities” and “The Case for Medicaid Self-Direction: A White Paper on Research, Practice and Policy Opportunities,”  the publications seek to address concerns held by both providers and consumers as changes to Medicaid are considered and made in the months and years ahead.

In “A Medicaid Block Grant Program,” NCD examines the history of federal block grant programs in general as well as proposals to block grant federal Medicaid funding; the fiscal challenges underlying the consideration of capping federal Medicaid funding and converting the program into a block grant authority; and the potential impact of current and past Medicaid block grant proposals.

In “The Case for Medicaid Self-Direction,” NCD traces the history of self-directed services in the U.S. and its emergence and growth in Medicaid; summarizes findings regarding the cost-effectiveness of self-directed services; explores the implications of the growing use of Medicaid managed care for the future of self-directed services and supports; and recommends strategies for improving the accessibility and quality of self-directed Medicaid services and supports.

“Medicaid is a vital component of America's health policy, now and in the future,” said NCD’s Entitlements Committee Chair, Ari Ne’eman. “Approximately one out of five Americans relies on Medicaid for health care coverage, and millions more will begin receiving benefits when the Affordable Care Act extends eligibility in 2014. Understanding the successes and failures of the past can help our nation prevent unnecessary problems going forward.

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