Medicaid Changes Require Close Monitoring

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<p>A federal law enacted last year could either expand access or limit important Medicaid services for children and their families, a new Commonwealth Fund report finds. <br><Br>George Washington University researchers Sara Rosenbaum and Anne Markus say that provisions in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 grant states flexibility to modify their Medicaid programs in ways that could negatively affect access to early childhood development services. At the same time, other provisions allow states to actually expand eligibility for Medicaid, thereby potentially serving more children. How it all turns out will ultimately depend on how states implement the law over the next year, the researchers say.<br><br>The new report, <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=24562&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D409144%26%23doc409144">The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005: An Overview of Key Medicaid Provisions and Their Implications for Early Childhood Development Services,</a> discusses key parts of the legislation related to eligibility, cost-sharing, premiums, the benefit package, and targeted case management, including the latest guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.<br><br>As states implement the law, it will be important to monitor closely how the changes affect the quality and availability of developmental services for young children and families, caution the authors.</p>