While efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have been difficult in all environments, the conditions for those working in agricultural production raise additional challenges. Migrant and seasonal farmworkers, many of whom travel as crops ripen throughout the spring and summer, live and work under conditions that even before COVID-19 posed risks to their safety and wellbeing. This expert perspective examines approaches to addressing the particular risks of COVID-19 faced by farmworkers, provides a survey of state and local policies and outlines some key themes and recommendations for policymakers as they work to support agricultural workers and stem the spread of COVID-19.
Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule
In November, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule making significant changes affecting Medicaid supplemental payments and financing mechanisms, including provider taxes and intergovernmental transfers (IGTs). On Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 4:00 pm EST, State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar on the proposed rule, facilitated by experts at Manatt Health.
The proposed fiscal accountability rule would, if finalized, sharply limit states’ abilities to use IGTs to fund their Medicaid programs and require many states to redesign aspects of their provider taxes, with resulting serious ramifications for many states’ Medicaid budgets. Additionally, the proposed rule would impose various reporting and approval requirements on supplemental payments. Further, many of the provisions in the proposed rule would provide CMS with considerable discretion to approve or disapprove payments or financing structures, leaving states uncertain of whether their programs comply with federal requirements. The webinar provided an overview of the proposed rule, highlighting the provisions with the most significant implications for states, and also discussed how the rulemaking process may unfold over the next several months and what states can do to prepare. The experts at Manatt Health published an analysis of the proposed rule and potential implications for states which you may find helpful.