MHPA Statement on COVID-19

Medicaid Health Plans of America Issues Statement on COVID-19

WASHINGTON, DC (March 9, 2020) – Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA), the leading association representing Medicaid managed care organizations, released the following statement in response to the threat that COVID-19, commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus, presents to Medicaid enrollees, their families, and communities across the country.

“MHPA and its member health plans understand that people served by Medicaid include populations that are especially vulnerable to the spread of viral diseases, particularly older adults and individuals with chronic, underlying health conditions.  For the millions of the people we serve, this is an urgent public health emergency. We are committed to an effective response for the most vulnerable today, and for everyone on Medicaid going forward. Medicaid exists to eliminate barriers to care for vulnerable populations and MHPA urges CMS to take immediate action to empower states to address the impact of COVID-19. This includes enabling States to remove any cost sharing for Medicaid enrollees that have or are suspected of having COVID-19.

In addition to the elimination of any cost sharing for Medicaid enrollees, MHPA recommends that such future CMS guidance addresses, at a minimum, the following issues:

  • How states can implement or update their Medicaid telehealth policies, including for remote monitoring, and reimburse telehealth services at the in-person clinical services rate;
  • Allowing for a 90-day supply of medications at retail and mail-order pharmacies for medications where a 90-day supply is clinically appropriate, and also allow the waiving of early refill requirements during public health emergencies;
  • Whether the use of a portion of available federal and state COVID-19 emergency response funds can be used to adequately train long-term care facility and nursing home staff on prevention and treatment of COVID-19;
  • How states can best engage Medicaid enrollees directly, or in collaboration with their MCO partners, on CDC best practices for infection control and medical management;
  • Adding flexibility to currently required face-to-face care management meetings;
  • How states can better work with their MCO partners and community-based organizations, including home-delivery services, to provide non-medical supports such as meals and over the counter medications, to Medicaid beneficiaries who are self-quarantined in their homes, and;
  • Encourage states to educate employers about the importance of allowing working adults diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay at home.

Additionally, MHPA urges CMS to work with CDC to develop and provide states with sample written patient information on COVID-19 appropriate for Medicaid beneficiaries. This information could also be shared with case/care managers, as well as MCOs’ disease management and engagement staff and partners.

MHPA was very glad to see Congress and the President’s quick action on an emergency funding bill that addresses COVID-19.  MHPA and our member health plans will continue to work tirelessly with federal, state, and local governments, as well as with providers, other stakeholders, and partners to ensure the response to COVID-19 recognizes the needs of the more than 70 million people in America that rely on Medicaid for high-quality health coverage and care.”

 

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ABOUT MHPA

Founded in 1995, Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA) represents the interests of the Medicaid managed care industry through advocacy and research to support innovative policy solutions that enhance the delivery of comprehensive, cost-effective, and quality health care for Medicaid enrollees. MHPA works on behalf of its 90-member health plans, known as managed care organizations (MCOs), which serve approximately 23 million Medicaid enrollees in 36 states, or about one-third of all Medicaid beneficiaries in states with managed care delivery systems. MHPA’s members include both for-profit and non-profit, national and regional, as well as single-state health plans that compete in the Medicaid market.   www.medicaidplans.org  |  @MHPA