RCPA - Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association


Coalition Focused on CMS Challenge to HealthChoices
October 18, 2013

RCPA and members of the Behavioral Health Coalition met October 18 with Deputy Secretary Dennis Marion and Ms. Lynn Patrone from the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) regarding the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) challenge to HealthChoices. RCPA released an Info in mid-September summarizing the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) response to the CMS challenge and commending the department on the strength of the response.

Deputy Secretary Marion outlined plans for another letter being developed by OMHSAS to further address CMS concerns. The coalition offered strong support for the work being done by DPW and OMHSAS to defend the carve-out. The deputy secretary also shared a September 2013 report from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO): Medicaid Managed Care – Use of Limited Benefit Plans to Provide Mental Health Services and Efforts to Coordinate Care. The report provides information on 13 states’ (including Pennsylvania) use of Medicaid managed care. The GAO examined the extent that states provide mental health services through limited benefit plans and steps states and CMS have taken to facilitate the coordination of mental and physical health care services for adult beneficiaries enrolled in these plans.  

The coalition will continue to develop advocacy efforts that supplement the work being done by DPW and OMHSAS, including letters and meetings with state and federal officials and representatives. For more information, contact Lynn Cooper.

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