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Federal government signs off on Maryland Medicaid’s waiver renewal

December 27th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

The Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene announced today that the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved the state’s Medicaid Waiver renewal for its HealthChoice program. For the first time, the state was able to negotiate a five-year agreement with the federal government and will employ federal dollars through initiatives that will more closely align the program with the administration’s priorities to implement cost-effective strategies that improve access to health care and health for individuals with complex conditions and needs.

“In partnership with the federal government, this waiver offers innovative solutions to some of the issues facing Maryland’s health care system, and it will leverage federal dollars for substance-use treatment services as we continue to combat the opioid epidemic,” said Governor Larry Hogan.

“Maryland’s Medicaid program recognized its 50th anniversary this year, and the initiatives in this waiver demonstrate that our state continues to be an innovator in delivering health care,” said Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “The components of this waiver could not be more timely or relevant.”

“I applaud the efforts of our state and federal partners who continue to collaborate with us to deliver better care,” said Deputy Secretary Shannon McMahon, the state’s Medicaid Director. “Our hospitals, universities, advocates, providers, social services organizations, elected officials and – most important, our members – push us to explore new strategies to improve coverage.”

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