First Focus on Children submitted the following comment to Secretary Xavier Becerra at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support finalizing the Managed Care Rule because we believe it will help advance the important goals of improving access to services, increasing transparency and monitoring of access, improving quality reporting, and further CMS’ commitment to advancing health equity.

Excerpt from the Comment:

In general, First Focus on Children supports CMS finalizing the Managed Care Rule subject to our comments below that we believe will help improve the proposals for children. We support CMS requiring compliance with the finalized version of these proposals at the soonest practicable dates. Medicaid and CHIP provide health care coverage to more than 50% of children in the United States, including foster youth, children with complex and special health care needs, and many children of color. As CMS works toward improving access to care, it must consider the unique needs of children. Unfortunately, having Medicaid or CHIP coverage is only one piece of the puzzle for children to be able to access care. The access pathway is often peppered with barriers that prevent children from accessing the care that they critically need. These barriers include overly lengthy wait times for appointments and/or needing to travel incredibly long distances to receive care. In some cases, these barriers are too much for families to overcome and children go without care altogether. With both this and the Access Proposed Rule, we applaud CMS for trying to set standards that attempt to tackle these barriers and that are more comprehensive and consistent across delivery systems.

Read the full comment.