Medicaid Commission suggests sharpening rules on asset transfers

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Tightening rules regarding asset transfers for nursing home residents is one of the Medicaid Commission's recommendations for cutting $10 billion from Medicaid over four years.

The recommendations are in the commission's first report released this week. Other suggestions include: increasing beneficiary copays, and using average manufacturer prices to set Medicaid drug reimbursement instead of average wholesale prices. Another report is expected in December 2006.

The report is similar to a proposal released earlier by the National Governors Association. But it marks a departure from President Bush's Medicaid reform plan because, unlike the president's proposals, it does not mention restrictions on states' use of intergovernmental transfers to increase federal matching funds.

The commission's report is at: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/faca/mc/090105rpt.pdf