Statement on CMS Protecting Individual Caregivers
ARLINGTON, VA – (May 3, 2019) Following strong opposition from states across the country like Michigan, Washington, Minnesota, Ohio and Connecticut, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have released a new rule. The “Medicaid Provider Reassignment Regulation” final rule protects an individual caregiver, who receives their payments from Medicaid, from an outside group’s attempt to divert these funds away from them to a third party.
Simply put, when taxpayer funds are allocated to a program, they should be used for that program. The funds shouldn’t be squeezed out by one after another. But this tactic isn’t just cronyism, it’s cronyism directed at those who are most vulnerable in the country – the sick, the elderly, those down on their luck, and then the kind souls who have dedicated their lives to caring for those people.
This problem appeared to be rectified, following the 2014 US Supreme Court decision in Harris v. Quinn. But states were still seeing special interests shimmy their way between taxpayer funds and the taxpayer – into what they saw as a slush fund ready for the taking. According to a recent report from the state of Washington’s Freedom Foundation, some 350,000 home caregivers have lost an estimated $150 million annually. A different report from Michigan’s Mackinac Center for Public Policy states the losses are $200 million annually.
The American Legislative Exchange Council applauds this rule change from CMS Administrator Verma, which removes the regulatory text allowing funds legally directed to a Medicaid caregiver, to be rerouted to a third party.