Secretary Price and CMS Administrator Verma Affirm Partnership of HHS, CMS, and States to Improve Medicaid Program

On Tuesday, March 14, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma cosigned a letter to the nation’s governors affirming the Department of Health and Human Service’s intent to work with States to improve the Medicaid program and the lives of those it serves. 

In the letter, Secretary Price and CMS Administrator Verma recognized the importance of the Medicaid program and the duty of the government to put beneficiaries first, to ensure the highest level of quality, accessibility, and choices for Americans who rely on the program. They go on to note that the current impediments that the Medicaid program faces and acknowledge the obligation to taxpayers to make sure Medicaid operates in a way that best serves the most vulnerable populations.

The letter outlines key areas where HHS and CMS will work to improve collaboration with states, moving towards more effective Medicaid program management:

  • Improve Federal and State Program Management.
  • Support Innovative Approaches to Increase Employment and Community Engagement.
  • Align Medicaid and Private Insurance Policies for Non-Disabled Adults.
  • Provide Reasonable Timelines and Processes for Home and Community-Based Services Transformation;
  • Provide States with More Tools to Address the Opioid Epidemic.

Overall, the letter states that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is committed to empowering all states to advance the next wave of innovative solutions to Medicaid’s challenges. HHS recognizes that states are in the best position to assess the unique needs of their respective Medicaid eligible populations’ and to drive reforms that result in better health outcomes.