HME issues in the spotlight at Medicaid Directors Conference

November 30, 2022

The HME community had a strong presence at the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD), 2022 Fall Conference, held earlier this month in Washington, DC. Laura Williard, AAHomecare vice president for payer relations was on hand, along with Jason Morin (Coloplast; AAHomecare Payer Relations Council Clair) Ryan Bullock, (Aeroflow and PRC Vice-Chair), Kathryn Vaughn (Coloplast), Anna Markiewicz (Coloplast), and Kim Cook (Numotion).

The three-day session touched on multiple areas of interest to HME suppliers, including a chance to connect with Kate McEvoy, the incoming Executive Director for NAMD. In a brief conversation with McEvoy, who we have worked with in her past role as Connecticut Medicaid Director, she expressed interest in meeting to see how AAHomcare and NAMD can collaborate going forward. Other highlights and takeaways from the session include:

  • Daniel Tsai-Deputy Administrator, Center Director, Center for Medicaid & CHIP Services (CMCS) at CMS was one of the presenters at the session. In his remarks, Tsai spoke about the need for better metrics to ensure Medicaid beneficiaries are getting access to the care they need, noting that time and distance metrics being used in some programs have no relevance to actual access to care. AAHomecare has stressed this idea in comments on Medicare Advantage programs and state Medicaid programs, and will continue to reinforce that message going forward.
  • CMS Admistrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure declared that maternal healthcare and expanding Medicaid coverage for mothers for 12 months post-partum would be a priority for the Administration. Other areas of focus include access issues in Medicaid managed care, as well as staffing challenges in healthcare and within the Medicaid programs.
  • Brooks-LaSure also mentioned increasing support for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) and that people desire to live in their homes. Brooks-LaSure has been encouraging use of the CARES Act ARPA funds to strengthen HCBS services. HME leaders have had success in directing some of these funds to HME in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Indiana and we will continue to work with our state association partners to expand that list. On a related note, Williard was able to personally thank Indiana Medicaid Director Allison Taylor (also current NAMD President) for her help with approving her state’s ARPA relief for HME.

AAHomecare attends these meetings to learn about Medicaid programs' priorities so we can better understand where our advocacy efforts fit into their goals. This helps with our messaging and advocacy efforts for the industry. The event allows us to make new connections and strengthen existing relationships with Medicaid officials from around the country. We also take advantage of the opportunity to meet with the payers and gain valuable contact information to help us in future engagements on behalf of our members.

Next year’s NAMD Fall Conference moves to an earlier spot on the calendar: Oct. 1-3, 2023.