After each legislative session adjourns, members of the General Assembly continue their work throughout the summer months by serving on interim study committees. Recently, House Speaker Brian Bosma announced the 2014 summer study committees, and I am honored to have been selected again this year to serve on the Medicaid Advisory Committee.
While most committees will begin meeting in July, with a majority of them concluding their work by the end of October, the Medicaid Advisory Committee is actually year-round, with members meeting quarterly.
Unlike many other committees that will be taking place this summer, the Medicaid Advisory Committee is also established in federal statute. Each state is required to maintain and appoint members to an advisory committee which essentially oversees the implementation of Medicaid within their state.
Indiana’s committee is required by our own state statute to include a total of 34 members. It is also specified who shall be represented in those members and is designed to include elected officials, provider representatives, consumer representatives, taxpayer representatives and citizens. I was appointed as the sole representative from the House and there is also one member from the Senate. Examples of other members include representatives from the Indiana State Medical Association, the Indiana Council of Community Mental Health Centers, the Indiana Hospital Association, the Indiana Pharmaceutical Association and the Indiana Association for Home Care.
Indiana's Medicaid Advisory Committee is a venue for the public to provide input to the state Medicaid agency on different aspects of the program. The committee provides feedback on the program policies and proposed policies that ensure the program is responsive to concerns.
One of the things that we discussed at our most recent meeting in May was an update on Indiana’s conversion from the status 209b to a 1634 state. In layman’s terms, this conversion meant positive changes to the aged, blind and disabled category in the Indiana Medicaid Program. For example, as a 1634 state, Indiana would begin extending full Medicaid eligibility to individuals that receive Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability.
With two meetings under our belt so far this year, the next meeting of the Medicaid Advisory Committee will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 19 at the Indiana Government Center South. I look forward to continuing our work to ensure that Medicaid is working as efficiently and effectively as possible, in the best interest of Hoosiers. If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding Medicaid, please send them my way!
Also, to see a complete list of the assigned committees, my appointment and what each committee is charged with studying, please visit http://www.in.gov/legislative/house_republicans/.