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Engaging Beneficiaries through Medical Care Advisory Committees to Inform Medicaid Policymaking

Chapter 1 examines the role of Medical Care Advisory Committees (MCACs) in supporting state Medicaid agency efforts to incorporate beneficiary voice into their programs. Beneficiaries can provide feedback to policymakers on the issues that affect their access and use of Medicaid-covered services. Federal rules mandate that every state Medicaid agency operate an MCAC that consists of beneficiaries or consumer group representatives. However, states seek additional guidance on strategies to improve beneficiary recruitment and engagement.

The chapter highlights the importance of beneficiary engagement, as well as an overview of the federal statute and regulations related to MCACs and recent proposed federal actions to implement changes to these regulations. Drawing on Commission discussions and findings from a 50-state policy document review and key stakeholder interviews, the chapter describes key findings and the challenges with recruitment of beneficiaries, particularly those representing historically marginalized communities, and barriers to meaningful beneficiary engagement. The chapter concludes with the rationale and implications for Commission recommendations.

The Commission voted in favor of three recommendations, which focus on how state Medicaid agencies can improve the beneficiary experience on MCACs and actions the federal government can take to aid states. The recommendations calls on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to issue federal guidance and technical assistance to states to address beneficiary recruitment and implementation challenges. The recommendations also urge state Medicaid agencies to strengthen efforts to recruit beneficiary members from historically marginalized communities, as well as to develop and implement policies that facilitate meaningful beneficiary engagement and reduce the burden on beneficiaries while participating in MCACs.

From: March 2024 Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP