Key Online Medicaid Policy Resources Improved

A number of free government websites that are used to track and reference key Medicaid policy and legislative issues have been given a fresh face with a bent toward facilitating greater user access and ease of use.

Navigating federal channels to locate specific policy and regulatory information can be as challenging as understanding the regulations themselves. Thankfully, a handful of free government websites have recently been updated to make the process of locating information less painful and far more efficient. (As far as understanding how specific federal policies and regulations impact school-based Medicaid reimbursement programs, continue to visit our News page for targeted analyses).

 

Stay Informed via the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website, Medicaid.gov.

CMS now has a separate website for all things Medicaid. Navigation tabs make it easy to search for specific topics or to browse by policy guidance, program information, state resources, and information related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as health care reform.

Website Highlights

 

Track via the U.S. Government website, Regulations.gov.

If you are tracking the development of a specific regulation, Regulations.gov makes it easy to locate a federal regulation and narrow related information by proposed and final rules, supporting and related material, or public submissions.

Features

  • Sign up for email alerts to learn when new information is published on a specific regulation. Look for this feature on the regulation docket ID page, accessible by clicking  “Open Docket Folder” on the Search Results page.
  • Review all public comments that have been submitted for a specific proposed regulation, including those by individuals, private and public organizations,  nonprofits, and other associations.

 

Reference via the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) Federal Digital System (FDsys).

The updated FDsys, although visually overwhelming at first, provides a streamlined search and a detailed view of all official federal publications. Use the search bar to enter a topic or federal regulation (for example, “CMS 6028” or “42 CFR 433″), and the site will display search results sorted by relevance. Advanced filtering options allow you to narrow your search by collection (such as Federal Register or Code of Federal Regulations), year of publication, government agency author and organization, keywords, and more.

Helpful Tip

  • FDsys is best when referencing past final rules or published federal regulations.
  • When viewing search results, instead of immediately clicking on the title, use the ”More Information” link, visible just after the summary text, to get a card catalog–style description of the file. This information is also linked to other site sections for easy cross-referencing and includes relevant dates, regulatory context, and expanded descriptions. FDsys is a large database, so utilizing this technique will allow you to easily confirm that you’ve located the correct and most recent version of a document.