Providers applaud government's new stance on Medicaid law

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The government is taking a more lenient position on the new Medicaid law – to the delight of long-term care providers.

Seniors and others who receive or are eligible for Medicare or Supplemental Security Income are exempt from the citizenship documentation requirements of the new law, according to an interim final regulation released late last week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS changed course on this issue following intensive lobby by the American Health Care Association and other groups. More than 8 million of 55 million Medicaid recipients will be exempt, according to CMS.

The new law, which went into effect on July 1, requires that new applicants and current Medicaid beneficiaries submit documents like passports to prove their citizenship. Nursing home advocates have worried that cognitively impaired elderly residents lack the means to produce such documentation.

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