NCD Letter to CMS Administrator Verma Requesting Meeting Regarding Medicaid Policy

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March 20, 2017
Seema Verma, Administrator
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850
 
Dear Administrator Verma:
 
As Chair of the National Council on Disability (NCD) -- an independent, nonpartisan, federal agency charged with providing information to the President, Congress, and other federal agencies on policies affecting the lives of people with disabilities – I write to request a meeting with you, at the earliest possible time, to discuss NCD’s very recent work on a variety of topics that have been recently addressed in your letter to the nation’s governors.
 
In the last several years, NCD has kept a keen focus on trends in Medicaid and on healthcare reform implementation, both through research publications as well as stakeholder forums across the country.  In fiscal years 2014 and 2015, NCD hosted a series of stakeholder forums to promote greater dialogue and contact between key CMS regional office staff and the disability community regarding managed care waiver applications and dual eligible demonstration proposals. This work was achieved through 10 community forums in which state Medicaid authorities, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and over 650 people participated. There were seven stakeholder groups comprising consumers/self-advocates, families, other advocates, providers, informal family caregivers, state government agency workers, managed care organizations (MCO), researchers, and various professionals in academia. NCD conducted the Medicaid managed care forums in 10 states: Kansas, Florida, Illinois, California, New York, Georgia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. Most recently, in late September of 2016, NCD convened a policy roundtable in Baltimore with senior leadership of CMS as well as state legislators, service providers, family members, and disability advocates from around the country regarding the home- and community-based settings rule, Olmstead implementation, and the Medicaid managed care rule. We welcome the opportunity to discuss the findings of the stakeholder forums and our recent roundtable, as we believe they are germane in advising you in fulfilment of our agency mission. Such a discussion with you is particularly timely given the fear within the disability community about the possible impacts of several of the health care proposals. There is concern within the disability community that a move to per capita caps will result in expanding waiting lists for home and community based services, resulting in an increase in institutionalizations and decline in services and quality of care.
 
NCD values our role as an independent advisory board and would like to set up a meeting with you and your team as soon as possible to discuss our work and recommendations in this arena. Please contact NCD’s Executive Director, Rebecca Cokley at rcokley@ncd.gov or 202-272-2124. We hope to hear from you soon, and please do keep us in mind as a resource to your agency in coming months.
 
Respectfully,
 
Clyde Terry
Chair
Cc: Secretary Tom Price