Problems with getting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to answer questions about federal health law details have jacked up implementation costs, a state official testified today.
The official, Kathy Kliebert, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, spoke at a hearing on state implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that was organized by the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform health care subcommittee.
Getting a response from HHS on important questions can take three to four months, Kliebert said.
“We cannot afford to wait months for these answers,” Kliebert said.
Kliebert cited efforts to get HHS officials to help state Medicaid programs adopt a new income eligibility testing standard — a “Modified Adjusted Gross Income” standard — as an example of a result of the delays.
Most states have to revamp their Medicaid eligibility systems to shift to the MAGI standard.