Health Care Reform Update - May 9, 2011

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

On May 2nd the head of the National Committee for Quality Assurance, Margaret O’Kane, spoke at a panel during the annual policy meeting of the College of American Pathologists in Washington. In her remarks, she said that her organization, which currently accredits everything from health insurance plans to home care programs, is now developing an accreditation program for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

On May 3rd Republicans in Congress introduced legislation to repeal the maintenance-of-effort (MOE) requirements under the ACA entitled, the “State Flexibility Act.” The bill was introduced in the Senate and in the House by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA). The MOE provisions were first included in the stimulus bill in 2009 and later were expanded in the ACA. The provision threatens states with a loss of federal funds if they tighten the eligibility requirements for their Medicaid programs before the law allows them to change those qualifications in 2014. The Republican’s statement on the introduction of this bill can be found here.

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