Cancer Advocates Call on CMS for Greater Data Transparency; Urge Pausing of Medicaid Redetermination Process in States of Concern

Data Release by Agency Shows Record Number of Disenrollments and Excessive Call Center Wait Times That Require Immediate Action

July 28, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 28, 2023 – Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the first monthly data report on the unwinding of Medicaid continuous coverage following the expiration of pandemic-era protections that prompted an eligibility redetermination process led by state agencies. 

The unwinding of these Medicaid provisions is one of the largest coverage-related events since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, with an estimated 18 million people expected to lose coverage nationwide and nearly 4 million who have lost coverage already. 

The below is a statement on behalf of Lisa Lacasse, President of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) in reaction: 

“We’re extremely concerned by today’s preliminary data showing a record number of people unfairly disenrolled from their health care coverage. We know from state data that these issues are not improving and call on CMS to take immediate actions to address the growing issue.  

“Continuity of care is critical to accessing timely cancer screenings and treatment to have the best chance at survival. For too many of the millions disenrolled, gaps in coverage could lead to delayed lifesaving screenings and significant disruptions to treatment, which result in life-threatening consequences. 

“The high rates of procedural terminations, abandonment and excessive call center wait times in many states noted in today’s report are alarming and require action by CMS. On behalf of cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones, we urge the agency to gather detailed data and make it public in a timely manner, which will properly inform the best path forward to ensure coverage isn’t being erroneously stripped from those who are still eligible. We also urge CMS to use its authority to require a pause in coverage losses due to procedural reasons in states with concerning rates.” 

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