Policy Brief #2: Medicaid Waivers and State Plan Amendments

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Which is right for your state?

Reforming Old Medicaid is a daunting task. It requires intense negotiations with legislators, executive branch officials, and special interest stakeholders. Assuming the reform survives the state legislative process, a new battle begins that is just as intense—negotiating those reforms with the federal government.

Using a traditional Medicaid waiver, this negotiation process can take months—if not years—to finalize. The delays often result in missed opportunities to
improve patient health, realize taxpayer savings and achieve other goals of reform. But thanks to an innovative Medicaid state plan amendment pioneered by Louisiana, states can reform their Medicaid programs with minimum federal hassle.