Medicaid invites association to the table

Sunday, November 30, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Medical Equipment Suppliers Association (WVMESA) has sought a better relationship with the state's Medicaid program, and it looks like it's going to get it.
In recent written correspondence, Medicaid indicated that drafts of its policy manual will now be routed through WVMESA to allow its board of directors or general membership to comment on proposed changes. The last time WVMESA was given such an opportunity was in 2006 when Medicaid revised the entire manual.
WVMESA President Pamela Kaehler said she requested Medicaid pay better attention to the medical equipment community following complaints about its overall responsiveness.
"Providers reported that questions only the policy unit could answer were not handled in a timely manner, which was impacting payments and patient access to products," she said.
While the priorities of Medicaid and WVMESA may not always match up and WVMESA may not have as much influence on policy changes as it would like, Kaehler said it's nice to be invited to the table.
"I have worked in several states with various Medicaid programs and some, in fact most, do not really allow an opportunity for comment and certainly do not make it a point to let the state association do a review of proposed policy changes," she said.