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"Each of us must come to care about everyone else's children. We must recognize that the well being of our own children is intimately linked to the well being of all other people's children. After all, when one of our children needs life-saving surgery, someone else's child will perform it. When one of our children is harmed by violence, someone else's child will commit it. The good life for our own children can be secured only if it is also secured for all other people's children. But to work for the well being of all children is not just a practical matter-- it is also right!" - Lilian G. Katz, Phd.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Medicaid Case Management Rules

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law -- Advocating for the Civil Rights and Human Dignity of People with Mental Disabilities:

"Medicaid Case Management Rules Could Stifle Service Delivery

December 20, 2007 —The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has published interim final regulations to govern case management services under Medicaid (Federal Register, December 4, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 232, 68077-68093; 42 CFR Parts 431, 440 and 441). Under Medicaid, case management services are services that will assist individuals in gaining access to needed medical, social, educational or other services.
New Rules Implement Deficit Reduction Act

These regulations were promulgated to implement part of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA, Public Law, 109-171—see the Bazelon Center’s March 2006 Mental Health Policy Reporter) and are CMS’ final interpretation of Section 6052, Reforms of Case Management and Targeted Case Management. The DRA made substantial changes to many vital federal programs, including Medicaid, Medicare and TANF; with an overall focus on saving the federal government money.

Section 6052 of the DRA outlined specific provisions on what may be included in case management. It also clarified that Medicaid will not pay for certain services that have traditionally been furnished by child welfare system case managers. Additionally, it appeared to restate Medicaid"
Unfortunately, without effective case management and help finding alternative services, the system will just try to drug problems away.

This will affect our family drastically, and it might yours as well. The good news is that:

Public Comments Encouraged

The rules allow for a 60-day public comment period (ending at 5 p.m. on February 4, 2008). They become effective on March 3, 2008—90 days after their publication in the Federal Register. Although final on an interim basis, the rules can be modified prior to the effective date. Accordingly, advocates should submit comments to increase the likelihood of modifications (click here for how to submit comments).

More information is available at the link above.