“CMS releases new Medicaid guidance for states to tackle unmet social needs”

CMS releases new Medicaid guidance for states to tackle unmet social needs,” by Susan Morse, HealthCareFinance


“The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released new guidance for states to address health-related social needs for Medicaid beneficiaries. This is being done through the use of ‘in lieu of services and settings’ in Medicaid managed care. The option will help states offer alternative benefits to meet needs from housing instability and food insecurity. States may adopt in ‘lieu of services and settings’ to offer medically appropriate, cost-effective tailored meals for people with severe, chronic health conditions that are made worse by poor diet, a food desert location or lack of access to nutritious food choices, CMS said. The guidance establishes requirements and guardrails states must meet to ensure that the innovations are cost effective, medically appropriate. They must also preserve enrollee rights and protections and fulfill the objectives of the Medicaid program.”


LTC Comment, Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform:

This should be called the “Pandora’s Box” policy. Medicaid is a health care program, but it is now being expanded to cover anything and everything. States, especially New York, which “Medicaids” everything already, are highly creative in capturing federal dollars for purposes never intended by the program’s drafters. Expect this boondoggle to hit the fiscal wall once the oncoming recession arrives in earnest.