In February 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a potentially very important update to a payment policy for American Indians and Alaska Natives who are eligible for Medicaid. Under this update, Indian Health Service (IHS) and tribal facilities can develop care coordination agreements with non-IHS/tribal providers for certain services. The non-tribal providers would be eligible for higher (“enhanced”) Medicaid payments, and these payments would be covered 100 percent by federal Medicaid dollars with no state match.
It is not clear yet how Montana Medicaid may implement this policy, and there are many questions yet to be answered about the potential benefits and risks for tribal health programs. Montana Healthcare Foundation will be working closely with tribes and urban Indian health centers to understand how this new policy could be used to benefit American Indian health in Montana.
To read the letter from CMS announcing the policy update, please click here.