Today, Representatives Gene Green (D-TX) and Joe Barton (R-TX) introduced the "Stabilize Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Act of 2013" to reduce patient churn in the Medicaid and CHIP programs.
Under current law, Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries face uncertain coverage. Currently, only 23 states have implemented continuous enrollment for Medicaid and 28 states for CHIP programs. This leaves an estimated 30 million adults on Medicaid and 19 million children unprotected by current law. The results of uncertain coverage are deferred healthcare consumption, which costs more in the long-run and worsens patient outcomes.
Rep. Green stated, "Enacting 12-month continuous enrollment nationwide has long been a high priority for me. In our district, we know all too well the high costs associated with limiting access to care. I am pleased to be joined by my good friend Rep. Barton in introducing this important bill that will stabilize coverage for beneficiaries and bring certainty and predictability to the system for states, insurers, and providers."
Patient "churn" results in high administrative costs for hospitals and health providers, interrupted care, and worse outcomes for patients. It is caused by the removal of individuals from the Medicaid and CHIP rolls for minor, and often temporary, changes in income or administrative reasons unrelated to their eligibility. Reducing churn will improve patient outcomes, treat conditions before they become more costly, and reduce administrative costs associated with the programs.