AHCA reconvenes Medicaid advisory subcommittees for first time since onset of COVID

Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), which oversees the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) Program is currently in the process of kicking off 5 Medicaid Medical Care Advisory Committee (MCAC) Subcommittees, each pertaining to a specific Medicaid subpopulation. This is the first time the committees will convene since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Each subcommittee will meet quarterly to discuss the needs of a specific Medicaid subpopulation and make recommendations to AHCA. Together, the subcommittees will cover the following areas: 

  • Managed long-term services and supports
  • Beneficiaries with HIV/AIDS
  • Children, including the safety of foster children
  • Provision of dental care to all children
  • Behavioral health and substance use disorder services

AHCA representatives will serve as subcommittee heads and work with roughly 10 members with backgrounds relevant to each population. Each committee will devise and present recommendations on improving care for its specific group to the state’s Comprehensive Quality Strategy. The strategy, last updated in 2020, documents performance metrics, quality improvement activities and results, and financial analyses of Medicaid services in Florida. 

Each subcommittee’s meeting will be open to the general public. Meetings will also serve as an opportunity for individuals to discuss with the Agency’s consumer report cards. This resource, found on FloridaHealthFinder.gov, enables consumers to customize their health plan search based on a variety of indicators. 

Aside from plan type, region, and services provided, consumers can also view each plans’ compliance with Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS). Health plans collect data on preventative and chronic disease services and submit them to AHCA on an annual basis. 

Each subcommittee completed its initial kickoff meeting this month, where community members have already begun sharing potential discussion topics. 

At the HIV/AIDS Subcommittee kickoff meeting on Wednesday, Donna Sabatino, RN, Director of State Policy and Advocacy at the AIDS Institute, pushed for continued HIV/AIDS screening, a specialty Medicaid plan for those with HIV, and access to antiretroviral therapy. 

“It’s important to provide access to all [HIV/AIDS] medications, because the virus is different for everyone,” Sabatino said. 

Alina Orozco, RN, Director of Managed Care Coordination at Clear Health Alliance, advocated for ensuring individuals with HIV/AIDS have a continuum of care, especially those who are either newly diagnosed or have fallen out of care. Orozco said consistent data sharing between different care systems is key to this goal. 

Several attendees expressed concern over ways to address meningococcal disease, which people with HIV are at a higher risk of contracting. Sabatino pointed out that not all Medicaid plans cover meningococcal vaccines in their expanded benefits. 

Patricia Emmanuel, MD, Chair of the College of Medicine Pediatrics as USF Health, said not enough providers are aware of how to address the risk of meningococcal disease with their patients living with HIV. 

“It’s a payment issue, but also an education issue,” she said. 

Subcommittees will post advanced notice of their meeting times. Those interested in participating on a subcommittee are encouraged to send their resumes to the respective team lead.