FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 20, 2016
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jeff Van Ness, (202) 204-7515
STATEMENT OF ACAP CEO MARGARET A. MURRAY ON S. 2438, THE MEDICAID AND CHIP QUALITY IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2016
WASHINGTON—Margaret A. Murray, CEO of the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP), issued the following statement on S. 2438, The Medicaid and CHIP Quality Improvement Act of 2016, introduced recently by Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio:
“Despite the significant size of the Medicaid and CHIP programs—they cover more than 80 million people combined—and despite the significant annual investment taxpayers make in the two programs, quality for broad swaths of the Medicaid program is difficult or even impossible to discern. That’s why Safety Net Health Plans are strongly supportive of Senator Brown’s introduction of legislation that will establish a nationwide system of quality measurement, reporting, and improvement across all Medicaid program delivery systems, including managed care, fee-for-service, and primary care case management.
“While health plans have long been required to systematically report on a wide range of quality measures developed by independent agencies such as the National Committee for Quality Assurance or the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, this bill would extend the benefits of transparency and accountability to all sectors of Medicaid and CHIP, including those that have not regularly reported on quality in the past, such as fee-for-service.
“The benefits of this legislation are readily apparent: greater visibility into the quality of the Medicaid program will help us to get the most benefit out of the federalized nature of the program – because Medicaid is different in all 50 states, a richer set of quality data will give us a better idea of what’s working well, and what needs improvement.
“It is important to note that this legislation would not mandate states or providers to achieve particular quality targets. Rather, it requires states to submit data to allow for apples-to-apples comparisons across states. This legislation would also spark quality improvement among states by providing bonuses to not just the five highest-performing states, but also the five that demonstrate the greatest improvement.
“This bill will create mechanisms that allow federal and state taxpayers to know what they are getting for the trillions of dollars they will invest in this program and incentivize quality improvement programs to achieve those goals. We are grateful to Senator Brown for his considerable leadership in introducing this bill, and urge his fellow Senators to support it as well.”
ACAP represents 60 nonprofit Safety Net Health Plans in 24 states, which collectively serve more than fifteen million people enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other health programs. For more information, visit www.communityplans.net.
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