Just When Alaska Medicaid Thought it was Safe…

Just as congress is trying to pass legislation which will give Medicaid a boost, Alaska has been put on a moratorium by the federal government and CMS due to noncompliance when it comes to enforcing Medicaid rules. This is temporary, however there is no guess as to how temporary it will be.

Because of this moratorium, many people who need to sign up for Medicaid need to wait until this is over. The review raised concerns that the state Medicaid agency has not taken necessary safeguards “to protect the health and welfare of the recipients of the services.”

Until the review is done, there can be no more individuals added to the Medicaid rolls. The review has been called for because of several areas of non-compliance. For instance, form 27 to 2009 the state reported 27 Alaskans died while waiting for initial assessments and 227 died while waiting to be reassessed.

The system should work much faster than that. The state says that it was behind in assessments because it did not have enough nurses. The review also found the state is not in compliance with requirements for all waivers.

“CMS has determined, in order for us to develop our business processes and refine those that we have in place, that a moratorium is necessary,” Rebecca Hilgendorf, director of Senior and Disabilities Services said.

Theresa Bovey, CEO of Trinion Quality Care Services, which provides in-home personal care in Anchorage, says this moratorium could have a huge impact on those who need Medicaid and won’t be able to get it now.

It is hopeful that these issues can be resolved quickly and enrollment can begin again after the moratorium is lifted, however, the review is not scheduled until March. In the meantime, the state must create a plan that shows what they will do to improve their Medicaid services. This plan must be presented to CMS before they will consider ending the moratorium.

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