After an almost three-year suspension, states may resume redeterminating Medicaid beneficiary eligibility beginning in April. This is one of several health-related provisions included in his Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, a federal budget bill signed into law on December 23.
State Medicaid Programs Increased Federal Medicaid Funding During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, In return, State Officials Allowed to Terminate Coverage for Most Medicaid Participants It was not. This restriction ends in April he under the Federal Budget Act.
Specifically, Arkansas law requires Medicaid employees to complete the redetermination process within six months.
A separate but related provision also requires continued enrollment in the state’s Medicaid program for 12 months after the child is considered eligible. The law also permanently gives the state the option to continue to provide coverage for pregnant women 12 months after giving birth. Previously offered American Rescue Plans included an option to extend coverage for up to five years postpartum.
Many federal health agencies plan to increase funding under the Budget Act. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will receive about $10 billion more funding than last year ($120.7 billion total). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will receive $760 million ($9.2 billion total) in increased funding to strengthen public health infrastructure and surveillance efforts.
Medicare telemedicine flexibility allowed during public health emergencies will continue through the end of 2024. Some examples of these flexibility include allowing telemedicine delivery wherever the patient is, including at home. Federally accredited medical centers and local medical clinics to provide telemedicine services and expand the reach of voice-only telemedicine services. Medicare physician reimbursement rates, which were to be cut by 4.5% in 2023, will instead be cut by 2% in 2023 and about 3% in 2024.
The Budget Act also includes provisions to protect pregnant and breastfeeding workers. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related medical conditions, and employers are prohibited from refusing to hire workers who require such accommodations. The law also requires employers to provide time and space for nursing mothers to express breast milk, and the space provided must be private and not in the bathroom. making that even more clear.
This action also includes enhanced funding opportunities for programs aimed at improving mental health, substance use disorders, and crisis intervention services. Examples include funding mobile health sites for mental health services, Medicare coverage for family and marriage counseling services, and the requirement that Medicaid programs provide a searchable directory of mental health service providers. increase.
Finally, the law includes efforts to strengthen the physician workforce. An additional 200 Medicare-funded graduate medical education positions will be established in 2026, half of which will be dedicated to psychiatric and psychiatric subspecialty residencies. Ten percent of these positions will be allocated to rural hospitals, hospitals serving areas lacking medical professionals, and state hospitals with new medical schools.