May 2020 | Policy Cheat Sheet


Medicaid plays a central role in the U.S. health care system and is essential in times of crisis such as natural disasters, economic downturns, and public health emergencies. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Medicaid programs and policies are adapting at a rapid pace.

To help translate emerging policies during the pandemic, CHCS is offering  this Policy Cheat Sheet series to provide a clear, digestible, and informal way to clarify COVID-19’s impact on select Medicaid policies. Originally, CHCS staffers created the series for internal use, but we thought it might also be useful to external stakeholders.

Get in touch with questions and observations — clear policy explanations are in demand these days!

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In the Series

October 9, 2020
A recent CMS report shows worrisome downtrends in health care utilization during the pandemic among children from low-income households — a decline that could impact physical health, as well as mental health, social/emotional development, and academic outcomes.
September 24, 2020
As states face unprecedented budget shortfalls and support the COVID-19 response, CMS released a State Medicaid Director letter on value-based care opportunities in Medicaid — which may be an important policy lever to improve health outcomes, lower costs, and offer stable revenue sources for providers.
September 18, 2020
Historically, the adult dental benefit is one of the first optional benefits that is eliminated during economic downturns. Could that dynamic be playing out during the current recession?
September 11, 2020
COVID-19-related deaths in nursing facilities are high — accounting for 28 to 41 percent of all deaths in the U.S. — leading to concerns about infection prevention and control strategies in these facilities.
July 17, 2020
The Department of Health and Human Services announced an additional $15 billion from its Provider Relief Fund to support Medicaid and CHIP providers. But is it enough to shore up safety net providers?
July 2, 2020
Family caregivers are navigating new terrain during the COVID-19 pandemic as they struggle to provide care in the middle of increased safety precautions, service disruptions, and the sudden loss of formal caregivers.
June 19, 2020
The dramatic expansion of telehealth is allowing providers to safely serve patients at a distance while curbing the spread of COVID-19. Yet, there is uncertainty about its effectiveness in rural communities — both in responding to the pandemic and as a long-term solution to increasing access to care, especially for low-income Americans.
May 29, 2020
The economic effects of COVID-19 on state budgets will likely persist over the next fiscal year and potentially much further. As states grapple with fragile budgets, Medicaid stakeholders are calling on CMS to delay or abandon implementation of the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation.
May 22, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a massive dent in the US economy. As states face significant budget shortfalls, near-record unemployment likely means unprecedented demand for Medicaid coverage.
May 15, 2020
COVID-19 has affected many areas of the U.S. economy, and health care providers are no exception. Medicaid providers — many of whom operate on slim financial margins — are at particular risk.