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2016 March

Demanding Ascertainable Standards

Medicaid as a Case Study

By Jane Perkins

Public benefits programs increasingly use preset guidelines and assessment tools to make coverage decisions. In some instances, agencies withhold these standards from program applicants and beneficiaries. The lack of ascertainable standards is inconsistent with the transparent use of public funds and creates serious due process problems. Legal protections can prevent the application of secret standards in the Medicaid context; such protections can be used in other public benefits programs, too.

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