HHS Postpones Medicaid Regulations That Would Have Cut Special Needs Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversees the Medicaid program, has rescinded three Bush-era Medicaid regulations that, if implemented, would have drastically cut federal funding for people with special needs.

The regulations, created in 2007, would have reduced funding for case managers to assist children with special needs, cut transportation services for school-aged children with special needs, and eliminated money for some personal care attendant services. Congress blocked the proposed regulations last April, but the regulations were due to take effect soon.

However, HHS's action postpones implementation of the regulations only for another year. Given the current state of the federal budget, it is unclear whether the government will be willing to permanently eliminate the cost-saving proposals in the future. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in a statement quoted by Congressional Quarterly, said that the government would "give additional consideration to alternative approaches" short of cutting funding for these vital programs.

To read an article in Congressional Quarterly about the regulations, click here.

Article Last Modified: 07/14/2009