WASHINGTONFinal regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human
Services guarantee Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled in managed care plans the
same protections granted to people in private plans under legislation pending
in Congress. The regulations take effect Aug. 13, and states and health plans
have 1 year to come into full compliance.
The rules guarantee emergency room
care, a second opinion when needed, and a timely right to appeal decisions.
However, each state will decide how to implement patient protection and use
managed care in its Medicaid plan.