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      Making Medicaid Work for Minnesota

      Posted on July 02, 2012 at 10:57 AM

      A 30-day public comment period begins today for the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) plan to reform significant portions of Medical Assistance (MA), Minnesota’s Medicaid program.

      DHS wants to empower consumers when it comes to issues concerning their own health. In order to address peoples’ health needs earlier and ensure the long-term sustainability of health care services in the state, DHS has unveiled a plan – called Reform 2020 – to redesign the state’s Medicaid program to better serve Minnesotans.

      “This plan will give people more choice, get them services earlier and in less costly settings and help secure the stability of our programs for years to come,” said DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson.

      The plan encompasses three major areas of DHS’s reform efforts: serving people better in the home and community, improving integration of chemical, mental and physical health, and transforming the way the state purchases health care. The plan is a result of bipartisan legislation and part of the 2011 budget agreement and is designed to be budget neutral. 

      The proposed reforms to the Medical Assistance (MA) program will address the following specific issues: 

      • Giving people more choice in the services they receive 
      • Broadening the array of services people can access 
      • Redesigning how those services are delivered 
      • Assisting special populations with unique needs earlier and more deliberately 
      • Providing proven housing and employment supports to improve health and independence 
      • Improving service coordination for individuals with complex needs. 
      Some of the proposals in the plan require new federal approval, including a provision that would allow the state to contract directly with providers to care for people on publicly funded health care programs. 

      DHS is providing 30 days for public comment on the proposed changes between now and late July, when the request for approval for certain policies from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be officially submitted. Information on submitting comments, as well as a copy of the reform proposal, can be found here