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Medicaid and CHIP are a lifeline for many low-income Americans, providing health care coverage when they need it most. However, there is currently no nationwide, mandatory and standardized way to measure, report, or improve the quality of services across the entire Medicaid program. That means that CMS, federal and state governments, and taxpayers cannot systematically evaluate the quality of care that Medicaid enrollees are receiving nationwide, from state to state, or even through varying delivery systems within a state.

Last year, Representatives Diana DeGette and Joseph P. Kennedy introduced H.R. 5542, The Medicaid and CHIP Quality Improvement Act of 2016. Senator Sherrod Brown introduced S. 2438, a bill by the same title. This legislation establishes a nationwide system to measure the quality of care provided to people with Medicaid and CHIP.

Urge your Senators to cosponsor this important piece of legislation, and add your organization's name to the list of supporters by contacting Jenny Babcock at ACAP.

Why is it Important to Measure Quality in Medicaid and CHIP?

Right now, there is no way to compare and improve the quality of care provided in different states, or even in different delivery systems in the same state. Without such a system in place, efforts to reform the Medicaid program cannot effectively focus on improving quality of care. Instead, changes must rest on cuts to vital benefits or payments to plans and providers, none of which will improve the health of enrollees, access to care or participation of high-quality providers in the program. The establishment by Congress of a nationwide system to uniformly measure, report, and improve the quality of care to Medicaid beneficiaries – across all types of delivery systems – will be an important step forward.

For more information on why a standardized, nationwide quality reporting and improvement system is necessary, refer to the quality FAQs.