The Arc and UCP submit comments on essential benefits

The Arc and UCP, in collaboration with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), submitted extensive comments to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on policy related to the essential benefits package in the ACA. The IOM has put together a panel to provide HHS with recommendations on how to implement this provision, including critical questions such as how to define “essential”, what is medical necessity, how to prevent discriminating against people with disabilities and health conditions, and how to ensure that benefits are balanced among categories. CCD strongly supports having a robust essential benefits package which includes rehabilitation and habilitation services and devices, as well as mental health benefits. CCD also provided comments to the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid on the implementation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO).  ACOs are intended to create greater heath care efficiencies by having health care providers work together in new ways. Providers are incentivized to do this by sharing in the health care cost savings they achieve. CCD is concerned that people with greater health care needs will be underserved and urges that any savings be linked with improved patient outcomes. See our comments at http://www.thearc.org/document.doc?id=2865

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