For Immediate Release: May 25, 2022
Contact: Renee Alves, 559-916-5939
Charleston, WV – Medicaid is a critical economic and health program in West Virginia, serving over 616,000 people, including children, seniors, low-income adults, pregnant and postpartum women, persons with disabilities, and more. Medicaid’s flexibility and reach has never been more clear than during the pandemic recession, when it provided health coverage for tens of thousands of West Virginians who lost other health coverage. Nevertheless, Medicaid and those who rely on it are often faced with stigmatizing language, mountains of bureaucratic hurdles, and harmful policy proposals.
Over the last year and a half, the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy (WVCBP) has worked in partnership with West Virginians for Affordable Health Care (WVAHC) on a listening project to identify ways to enhance the Medicaid experience for West Virginians. Over the course of this project, our team has learned more about the Medicaid process through the experiences of those who utilize and administer the program, including state officials and legislators, health care providers and advocates, and — most importantly — Medicaid enrollees and people who are eligible but not enrolled in the program.
Our new issue brief highlights several patterns identified through our correspondence with Medicaid stakeholders and people with lived Medicaid experience that are critical to understanding the role of Medicaid in the Mountain State, and how it can better serve enrollees. While the project is ongoing, our preliminary findings and recommendations can help stakeholders and policymakers craft policy priorities that can critically improve Medicaid’s efficacy and health outcomes in West Virginia. This brief was authored by WVCBP health and safety net policy analyst, Rhonda Rogombe.
Recommendations to Improve Efficiency of Medicaid Program:
“Beyond streamlining and simplifying the enrollment and renewal processes in order to improve the Medicaid experience for consumers, these recommendations would also reduce the administrative workload for DHHR staff,” says Rogombe. “This is particularly important as the COVID-19 public health emergency is expected to end in the coming months, increasing the administrative workload on the DHHR staff members that work on Medicaid by requiring full renewals of all Medicaid recipients. Together, these recommendations can improve the efficiency and responsiveness of the Medicaid program to the benefit of both consumers and staff.”
You can read the full issue brief here.
We have a great newsletter, join below: