NH sends Medicaid stats to Feds
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(CONCORD) New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services has submitted its response to the federal government’s request for more information on the state’s Medicaid Program. HHS Commissioner Nick Toumpas says the 80-page document demonstrates that New Hampshire Medicaid patients have no less access to health care their New Hampshire patients outside of Medicaid.
The report stems from a May 23rd letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) chiding the Granite State for a lack of data justifying recent cuts to Medicaid reimbursements. Those cuts are the subject of a lawsuit from ten New Hampshire hospitals alleging state officials violating the terms of the Medicaid Act at the expense of low-income Medicaid patients.
Toumpas sent a terse reply in June 4th, arguing that his department had already submitted much of the information sought by CMS.
The latest report, sent June 22nd, asserts that New Hampshire Medicaid patients have the same access to health care as other patients, and that access to physicians, in-patient, and out-patient services are all “within normal limits.” The report concludes:
New Hampshire Medicaid routinely monitors access indicators, i.e. beneficiary enrollment and demographics, provider enrollment and availability, and beneficiary utilization of health care services and will produce a quarterly data report similar to the report set forth above to measure and monitor beneficiary access to healthcare in New Hampshire.
“Our contention is that there is no evidence that we have an access problem for services,” Toumpas tells NH Watchdog.
Toumpas made the same argument in his June 4th letter to CMS. “I stand by that.”
While the exchange with CMS is not part of the ongoing lawsuit against the New Hampshire Medicaid Program, Toumpas expects the data in the latest report to be entered into evidence. In March, Judge Stephen McAuliffe blocked Toumpas from making any further cuts to Medicaid reimbursement rates, finding that the state was “highly likely” to have violated the Medicaid law in cutting rates without public hearings.
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