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Sununu Calls for Change to Federal Medicaid Rules on Disability Services

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu wants New Hampshire's congressional delegation to change a Medicaid rule that covers how services for people with developmental disabilities are provided.

The rule is designed to eliminate conflicts of interest. It requires that agencies which provide case management and direct services for people with developmental disabilities cannot provide both to the same people under Medicaid.

Some New Hampshire non-profits that contract with the state say the rule is unnecessary. Becky Bryant, president of Lakes Region Community Services, says her agency has already taken steps to avoid conflicts of interest and that splitting out the two functions could leave people without providers in rural parts of the state.

“Families that are coming through one door today are able to do one-stop-shopping, if they choose,” says Bryant, “we're now saying to them, you don't have a choice anymore.”

But Stephanie Patrick, executive director of the Disability Rights Center of New Hampshire, says in the long run, the rule will be good for the state.

“We recognize that separating case management from direct provision of services might be difficult,” says Patrick, “but I think it's a good opportunity for New Hampshire to really examine its system of services for people with developmental disabilities.”

Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.
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