Monday, March 14, 2011

Health care rules released

State and federal officials say new rules released by the Departments of Health and Human Services and Treasury Thursday offer states like Vermont more guidance in applying for waivers that advance health care reform.

The two federal departments this week released the applications that states will need to turn in asking for the waivers that will allow them to experiment with new health care programs.

The proposed regulation also describes how those proposals should be monitored and evaluated, and what states need to do to ensure that the public receives information on the waiver requests.

"This is very good for us because it spells out what we have to do to apply for the waivers," said Anya Rader Wallack, special assistant to Gov. Peter Shumlin for health care reform. "This is important because it lets us know what we have to do to apply for the waivers."

The proposed rules released Thursday are for states that want to apply for the 2017 waivers, though states like Vermont want to get a jump and apply for the waivers in 2014.

Last month, Shumlin was in Washington, D.C., at a meeting of the National Governors Association, and President Barack Obama said he supported legislation that would allow states to apply early for the waivers.

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