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Siegel Commentary: MFAR Threatens Access to Care, State Budgets

In a new Modern Healthcare commentary, America’s Essential Hospitals President and CEO Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, explains that the proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation would do more to shrink Medicaid than to contribute to program integrity and transparency.

“MFAR steps far beyond program integrity by responding to isolated payment concerns with sweeping prohibitions on traditional funding mechanisms,” Siegel writes in his commentary. He adds that the regulation uses the “admirable goals” of program integrity and transparency as “sheep’s clothing on this wolf, which would severely restrict the long-standing flexibility states have to finance their share of Medicaid.”

The regulation would restrict the funding sources available for the nonfederal share of Medicaid spending and is likely to impose high costs on states, raise taxes, and restrict access to care.

“Worse, the agency offers only scant analysis of how these draconian changes would impact patients, providers, and states and it allows no transition period to help stakeholders adjust,” Siegel writes.

The association has urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to withdraw the plan.

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