“Medicaid.Gov:” A New Resource for Medicaid Stakeholders – Say Ahhh! A Children’s Health Policy Blog

Medicaid stakeholders have a new resource to mine in
Medicaid.Gov.” CMS opened the mine on Monday for prospecting and you’re bound
to find, through the site’s updated search functionality, some of those elusive
nuggets of information previously not available or buried so deep within the
old CMS website that no amount of blasting could unearth. An example of the
ease of use is that State Medicaid Letters, State Health Official Letters,
Informational Bulletins and Regulations now are available in a single location
and searchable by topic. So no more panning in separate places to access the
different sources of information on the same topic.

The CMS announcement of the new site noted that it is
part of the agency and administration’s promise to transparency and information
sharing (thanks to our friends at CMS). Evidence of the commitment to
transparency is the reporting of approved and pending state waivers, a true “Mother Lode” for state advocates.

Other Medicaid and CHIP nuggets you’ll discover as you
pan through this new website, which are searchable by population, topic or
state, include:

* Eligibility, benefits and cost-sharing

* Outreach and enrollment policies such as Presumptive
Eligibility or Express Lane Eligibility

* Enrollment data (total served, not point in time
enrollment through 2010)

* State templates

* Audio Recordings of the recent National Enrollment and
Eligibility Conference

* Links to the Code of Federal Regulations embedded at
strategic places

* Frequently asked questions

Like any website, it’s a work in process. I came in short
on a couple of searches. For example, I couldn’t find State Medicaid or CHIP
Plans. It would be great to see them there, including approved and pending state
plan amendments (SPA). Of course, it also would be great to see current
state-by-state enrollment, disenrollment and other data posted regularly. And
the challenge for CMS (and any website host) is to keep the site current in
this fast-paced policy environment.

If you’ve bookmarked any pages on the old website, you’ll
be directly to similar but not always the same information on Medicaid.gov. For
example, my old link to State CHIP plans brought to me to a section about CHIP
program design but not the State CHIP plans.

There’s a prominent icon/link to submit website
suggestions. So be sure to give feedback when you find a shiny nugget or when
your panning comes up with rocks and not precious metal. You can also sign up
for regular updates by going here.

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