Medicaid programs have served as a crucial connection to healthcare for millions of Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal public health emergency (PHE) declaration granted Medicaid programs critical flexibilities to adapt policies and operations, like rapidly expanding telehealth services and modifying payment rates. Enhanced federal resources (in the form of a 6.2 percentage point increase in the federal Medicaid match) are also tied to the PHE, along with new requirements for Medicaid programs. Providing state Medicaid directors with information on when this PHE declaration will end is crucial to ensuring the operational and financial stability of the program.
NAMD’s letter to Secretary Azar requests a stakeholder convening to develop publicly-reported metrics or milestones that will inform future decisions around the PHE declaration. Developing a consistent and public set of metrics would allow states to monitor trends, which could provide more predictability in planning for the future availability of Medicaid funding and flexibilities linked to the COVID-19 PHE.