Pressure grows on CMS to get tough when reviewing state Medicaid cuts

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"ANCOR recognizes that CMS [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] is in the process of considering comments on this rule; however, we are deeply concerned that in the meantime state rate reductions occurring throughout the nation are failing to take into account the adverse effects these rate cuts have on access to long term supports and services," the letter states. "ANCOR respectfully urges CMS to apply State Plan Amendment review policies in a manner consistent with the proposed rule, and to employ current oversight authority to ensure that individuals with disabilities continue to have access to necessary services."

California's request is still under review. CMS officials have said they intend to request more documentation from the state because of the scope of its proposed cuts.

Advocates are particularly worried about the proposed cuts' effects on people with disabilities, The Hill reported last month. Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) has taken the lead in Congress to stave off cuts to facilities that care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Meanwhile, in California, at least three groups — the Regional Center of Orange County, the Association of Regional Center Agencies and Kern Regional Center — have written to state health authorities asking them to rethink the proposed 10 percent cut. They point out that moving the residents to new facilities could end up costing more than the savings rendered by the 10 percent cut.