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State submits improvement plan for Alaska’s Medicaid waiver programs


State meets federal deadline for plan to improve home and community care programs
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services yesterday submitted to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) its proposed plan to improve the administration of Alaska's four Medicaid waiver programs.

The programs, funded by CMS, provide home‑ and community-based care for Alaskans with serious health needs who would otherwise require care in a hospital, nursing home or other facility.

"We're automating and formalizing the ways we track the quality of these services," Health and Social Services Commissioner Bill Hogan said. "Alaskans and their families won't see these behind- the-scenes improvements, but they will benefit from them."

CMS placed a temporary hold on new applications to the waiver programs in June, citing concerns about a backlog of annual needs re-evaluations and administrative procedures.

The overall corrective action plan was due to CMS Sept. 3. CMS and the department will now collaborate on approval of the plan, a process that could take months. The finalized plan will be made public.

For background information, see http://hss.state.ak.us/dsds/cmsreview.

Providers and Medicaid recipients with questions may contact Angela Salerno at (907) 465‑4874, or angela.salerno@alaska.gov.

Posted Sept. 9, 2009

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