We the undersigned leadership of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus of the Mississippi Legislature write today to express our concerns regarding a proposed state plan amendment submitted on September 29, 2019 by the Mississippi Division of Medicaid.
We believe this proposes “border wall” on selected cardio-vascular pediatric procedures will discriminate against Medicaid beneficiaries, denying patients, their parents and their physicians access to high quality service closer to their homes.
The Caucus is committed to expanding access to quality and affordable healthcare for all Mississippians, and the Medicaid program combined with patient choice and participation in their own medical care is central to achieving that.
A disproportionate number of Mississippians are reliant upon Medicaid healthcare coverage. That is why the Caucus and the Legislature as a whole has repeatedly rejected efforts to simply use regulations to funnel utilization volume toward any particular providers.
Currently, Medicaid recipients have the freedom of choice to decide at which facility they will receive treatment. This choice is even more important for parents and physicians treating children facing life-threatening conditions and in need of complex procedures. While this particular procedure is available at a single hospital in Jackson, Mississippi, it is also offered at some of the nation’s highest ranking facilities on the border of Mississippi.
Individuals covered by private insurance will still retain choices that now will be denied by the Mississippi division of Medicaid. This regulation would further exacerbate a two-tiered healthcare system, denying to those with limited resources choices available to others with means.
We strongly urge the CMS to at least seek more information and data to justify any limitation on access to care, and we ultimately ask that you reject this proposed state plan amendment which, clearly, is an attempt to circumvent the Legislative process.
If you would like to discuss this matter further, please contact us at 601-983-9346.
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