The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has given notice of a proposed rule that would make it easier for states to stop paying for non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) for Medicaid beneficiaries. The move would not only make it more difficult for Medicaid recipients to get to medical appointments, but will also drastically cut into providers’ revenue.
CMS spends approximately $3 billion each year on NEMT, which has been a benefit since Medicaid’s inception in 1965. Currently, states have to obtain a waiver from CMS if they don’t offer NEMT services. Iowa and Indiana are the only states with such a waiver, while Kentucky and Massachusetts have both requested waivers.
Although it is early in the rule-making process and few details are available, the notice on the White House’s Office of Management and Budget website indicate a projected release date of May 2019.