CMS Probes New Hampshire Medicaid Cuts

CMS sent a letter (pdf), dated May 23, to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, asking the agency to provide data that state's recent Medicaid cuts to do not hinder access to beneficiaries' access to physician and hospital services.

Specifically, state DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas and the agency must provide data and analysis on how physician, inpatient and outpatient service rates are adequate compared to historical rate levels and access of care as well as evidence of "ongoing beneficiary engagement efforts."

If New Hampshire is unable to show the current Medicaid program does not hinder beneficiary access to care, CMS said it could lead to "compliance action," according to the letter.

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In response, Mr. Toumpas said CMS is rallying against the state DHHS, which has been working with CMS over the past several months to work on its Medicaid structure. "To the dismay of this administration, your letter characterizes the conduct of this department in an inaccurate manner and acknowledges neither the prompt, responsive actions taken by the department nor most of the documents submitted to you over the past three months," Mr. Toumpas wrote, according to a Union Leader report.

CMS' letter comes on the heels of a recent request from state hospitals. In April, several New Hampshire hospitals petitioned the federal government to intervene in the state's Medicaid program, arguing patients are losing access to essential health services. Ten New Hampshire hospitals have also battled the state in the courts since last year after legislators approved a plan to cut $115 million from the program — and hospital reimbursements — over two years. The hospitals have said the New Hampshire officials violated the federal Medicaid Act by providing inadequate reimbursement.

Steve Ahnen, president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association, said the CMS letter "absolutely confirms what hospitals in New Hampshire have been saying all along. The Medicaid program is broken and access to care for Medicaid patients is at risk as a result of the budget-driven cuts to patient care," according to an AHA News Now report.

More Articles on New Hampshire Medicaid:

New Hampshire Hospitals: State Medicaid is "Broken"

New Hampshire Ordered to Give Notice on Medicaid Hospital Reimbursements

10 Hospitals Sue New Hampshire, Claim Medicaid Reimbursement is Insufficient

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