Today, the House overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill, introduced by members of the Energy and Commerce Committee, to strengthen the Medicaid program and improve access to care for patients who need it most.
"This is commonsense legislation that is also smart policy," said full Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ). "The compiled bill represents a true effort by our Committee to improve the integrity of the Medicaid program and strengthen it for beneficiaries for years to come. I applaud my colleagues for their hard work and urge the Senate to take up this bill quickly."
H.R. 3716, the Ensuring Access to Quality Medicaid Providers Act, would strengthen and improve program integrity in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by ensuring that states have all the necessary information to track fraudulent providers so that they are no longer serving Medicaid patients in different states. Introduced by Congressmen G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and Peter Welch (D-VT), the bill will keep patients safe while also protecting taxpayer dollars.
"If a provider is terminated from Medicaid for fraudulent practices in New Hampshire, we must ensure that provider is prohibited from crossing state lines and setting up shop across the border in Vermont or elsewhere. This threat of Medicaid fraud remains because of a lack of consistent reporting and communication between states. I'm pleased the House passed this bipartisan legislation to prevent bad actors from taking advantage of Medicaid beneficiaries and the American taxpayer. It's just common sense. The Senate should pass this bill without delay and send this bipartisan bill to the President," said Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT).
"This important, bipartisan bill will safeguard American taxpayers and bring greater integrity to our federal and state healthcare programs. More than 72 million Americans rely on the Medicaid program including 75 percent of children who live in poverty. This legislation is important to ensuring we are making the best use of Medicaid funds and is based on recommendations from HHS and CMS reports," said Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC).
The legislation passed today also incorporates H.R. 3821, the Medicaid Directory of Caregivers Act, which will increase the efficiency of the Medicaid program by creating an electronic provider database that is more patient friendly. This bill, introduced by Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), will allow beneficiaries to more easily find participating providers, thereby improving access to the care they need.
"Ensuring Medicaid beneficiaries have the all the information they need when seeking care is a commonsense safeguard in our system. When passed, this bill will make it easier for patients to know their options, find a doctor, and access quality care. I look forward to more opportunities to improve our health care system and build upon the successes we've seen in almost six years since the Affordable Care Act was passed into law," said Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY).
Both bills passed the Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously and have received the support of the Administration.