Prompted by new federal regulations, at today’s Medicaid Council meeting DSS announced the creation of a Medicaid Medical Care Advisory Committee that will track quality and access to care in the program. The committee will advise on an Access Monitoring Plan, due out July 1st, to ensure that Medicaid members’ access to care is similar to the general population’s. The plan will consider provider rates but also enrollee needs, availability of providers, and utilization trends. The state must compare Medicaid rates to Medicare and private payers, and must solicit public, member and provider input to the plan. DSS intends the committee membership to focus on direct consumers and providers participating in the program. All meetings, data, and analyses will be public. They will soon be accepting applications for the committee.