The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is disputing claims that it has not submitted detailed information to the CMS about Medicaid reimbursement rate reductions.
In a May 23 letter
, released Monday, CMS Deputy Administrator Cindy Mann requested the state health department supply specific data and analysis about Medicaid reimbursement rates within 30 days.
Mann had said in the letter that testimony provided in a related lawsuit had raised “issues about current and future access to physician services, inpatient and outpatient psychological services and hospital-related home health services.”
Ten New Hampshire hospitals are suing the state
. The lawsuit, filed in July, alleges that the state violated the Medicaid Act by not providing sufficient reimbursement for Medicaid beneficiaries and failing to notify providers about the rate reductions or allow opportunities for comment.
The hospitals are Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, Lebanon; Catholic Medical Center and Elliot Health System, both in Manchester; Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, Dover; Exeter (N.H.) Health Resources; Southern New Hampshire Health System and St. Joseph Hospital, both in Nashua; LRGHealthcare, Laconia; Cheshire Medical Center, Keene; and Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Rochester.
The hospitals say that the state has cut $327 million in Medicaid reimbursements from November 2008 through June 2013. As a result, the facilities say they have cut services.
In a June 1 letter to the CMS (PDF)
, New Hampshire's Health Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas said that the health department plans to fully respond to the CMS' request for information.
He also wrote that the state has already provided “substantial data and analysis.”
“To the dismay of this administration, your letter characterizes the conduct of this department in an inaccurate manner and acknowledges neither the prompt, responsive actions taken by the department nor most of the documents submitted to you over the past three months,” Toumpas wrote.
In addition, he noted that the state does not have any information about “an access problem” and that the CMS began to address concerns about access only in February.
“This information clearly demonstrates that there has not been, currently is not, nor will be any evidence of a barrier to access to Medicaid recipients in New Hampshire,” Toumpas said.