GAO Urges CMS to Collect Better Data on Appeals, Grievances in Managed Medicaid

Comprehensive information about appeals of coverage denials by Medicaid managed care organizations is not available, and state and federal officials are far from setting a common, national data standard, according to a March report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report reiterates some of the same conclusions made by another federal watchdog, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), in a July 2023 report about Medicaid MCOs’ prior authorization denials, and experts say they do not expect data reporting to improve in the short term.

Medicaid MCOs are facing increasing regulatory pressure over prior authorization and other utilization management (UM) practices, particularly at the state level. Federal lawmakers have yet to approach Medicaid UM reforms with the same bipartisan zeal that they have brought to revamping Medicare Advantage practices. But the new GAO report, which was prepared at the request of Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) is an indication that powerful Democratic members of Congress are taking interest in reforming UM in managed Medicaid.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has been a reporter for nearly a decade. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered a wide variety of topics in his hometown of Seattle, where he continues to live. Peter’s work has appeared in publications including The Atlantic and The Stranger. Peter attended Colby College.

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