NCD Recommends Ways to Implement Medicaid Managed Care without Harming People with Disabilities

Last week, The National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency tasked with providing advice to the President and Congress on policy matters affecting the lives of people with disabilities, released a report titled “Medicaid Managed Care for People with Disabilities: Policy and Implementation Considerations for State and Federal Policymakers.”

More than two-thirds of the 70 million Medicaid beneficiaries receive at least a portion of their services through a managed care plan. Until recently, the vast majority of these enrollees have been people without disabilities, however, now more than half of states are enrolling adults and children with disabilities. In addition, the number of States utilizing Medicaid managed care for long-term services and supports jumped from 8 in 2004 to 16 in 2012. This trend will undoubtedly increase as the Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid eligibility in 2014. Against this backdrop, NCD’s report examines the implications, benefits, necessary principles, and operational features of Medicaid managed care for people with disabilities, and advances recommendations for state and federal policymakers. NCD’s report is based on 22 guiding principles developed by NCD to assist in the design and implementation of managed care for people with disabilities. NCD recommends in the report that these principles be rigorously applied in designing and operating managed care services.

The full report, including the guiding principles and specific recommendations developed by NCD, are available online.

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