Feature

Verma unveils Medicaid scorecard but refuses to judge efforts


 

The Trump administration on June 4 released a Medicaid “scorecard” intended to show how the nation’s largest health program is performing. But the nation’s top Medicaid official didn’t want to draw any conclusions.

“This is about bringing a level of transparency and accountability to the Medicaid program that we have never had before,” said Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Yet in a meeting with reporters, Ms. Verma refused to discuss the findings in any detail or comment on any individual states that performed poorly or exceptionally.

“I will let you look at the data and make your own conclusions,” she told journalists a few minutes before the report was posted online.

When reporters pressed Ms. Verma to comment on the document, she refused to give an assessment of the Medicaid program, the federal-state health program for low-income residents. She has run Medicaid for the past 15 months.

“The idea here is to give you a sense of where states are on different areas,” she said. “The idea is to be used for best practices,” and it’s “an opportunity for us to identify” and have discussions with states that aren’t performing well.

Medicaid covers about 75 million people, about half of them children.

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