The NFMCPA encourages you to learn what your state's legislators are planning for Medicaid coverage. Does your state health department allow health insurance providers to exclude patients with FM from coverage? We know that many physicians do not diagnose their patients with FM to protect the patients from discrimination.
The time is short to act. We anticipate most states will define their Medicaid programs and determine Essential Health Benefits for their state's citizens by the end of 2012.
The NFMCPA is asking you to: 1. Know when your state legislature meets (http://www.stateside.com/session-calendar -2012.php) 2. Locate your state's Medicaid program by doing a Google search with the words "medicaid committee (utah)" inserting your state instead of Utah. Find out (1) how FM and chronic pain are managed through your state's Medicaid program, AND (2) if your state's medicaid program is being revised this year. 3. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to let your legislators know of your concerns. 4. Participate in the online survey "Self-Reported FM & Chronic Pain Management Techniques." (available at NFMCPA website Tuesday, January 24, 2010) The overall survey statistics will be sent to Health & Human Services and state legislators.
(Under the Affordabe Health Act, states have the responsibility to develop their own Medicaid systems. The U.S. Health and Human Services is finalizing its Essential Health Benefits recommendations to the states (January 31). Many patient advocacy organizations have expressed deep concern about the lack of specific recommendation for treating long-term illnesses. States' rights are a hot topic. However, some our concerned that small state legislative committees with the task of developing the Medicaid programs and insurance exchanges are not knowledgeable about the serious needs of people with FM and chronic pain. This is beyond a quality of life issue--inadequate health care undermines society as people are unable to be productive, family relationships are stressed from caring for a chronically ill family member, and children are negatively affected by watching unsuccessful resolutions in managing daily life.)
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