The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and Florida College of Emergency Physicians (FCEP) have sent a formal response to Marilyn Tavenner, the Administrator and Chief Operating Officer of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), supporting CMS’ planned hearing to address Florida’s restriction of emergency department use to six visits per year for Medicaid beneficiaries which ACEP asserts is a violation of the prudent layperson standard. ACEP calls the hearing notice “a welcome commitment of federal oversight of beneficiary protections.”
Alex Rosenau, DO, FACEP, president of ACEP, and Michael Lozano, president of FCEP, issued a statement:
“Florida’s action is a violation of the prudent layperson standard that may result in serious and potentially deadly outcomes. Its use of the six-visit limit is yet another example of states using short-sighted approaches to saving money that can hurt the very people they are supposed to protect. As CMS itself has stated, Medicaid beneficiaries use the emergency department at an almost two-fold higher rate than the privately insured, but that is not inappropriate given their generally poorer health. At least two studies found that the majority of emergency visits by non-elderly Medicaid patients were for symptoms suggestive of urgent or emergent medical problems.