Medicaid Commission approves populist measures

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A federal advisory panel Friday approved several measures certain to resonate with consumers and policy-makers. The Medicaid Commission called for more individual choice, greater state flexibility, integrated care coordination and an electronic health record for enrollees by 2012.

The panel said seniors and others with long-term care needs should have more choice and be able to receive care in their communities. In addition, states should be given more flexibility in designing and executing long-term care programs, particularly when defining eligibility and settings, they ruled.

The commission noted that all participants should have an electronic health record within six years. Moreover, successful demonstration programs should also be incorporated into larger programs, they said. The commission is required by law to submit recommendations to the Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt before the end of the year.