Baltimore, Maryland–(ENEWSPF)–November 14, 2016. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a Michigan State Plan Amendment (SPA) today that uses federal and state funding to expand lead abatement activities in the impacted areas of Flint and other areas in Michigan. This targeted and time-limited effort will complement other federal, state and local efforts to abate lead hazards from the homes and improve the health of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligible residents.
This effort, approved through an existing authority in law called a CHIP “Health Services Initiative” (HSI), will allow Michigan to use approximately $24 million per year, for five years from the effective date or until all homes included in the scope of this SPA have been abated for lead, to coordinate and target lead abatement services to eligible homes in the impacted area to ameliorate all lead risks. Abatement activities are only permissible with these federal and state funds if the services are delivered to eligible homes where Medicaid or CHIP-eligible children or Medicaid or CHIP-eligible pregnant women reside. While the state will prioritize the impacted area of Flint, the state will also identify other high-risk individuals and targeted communities within Michigan for approved abatement activities.
“This approval is an unprecedented step for the state and federal government in helping Flint families protect their children from the risks associated with lead,” said Dr. Nicole Lurie, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), who is leading federal response efforts in Flint. “Removing lead in homes, including from pipes in homes, can greatly decrease the risk of future lead exposure and improve children’s health.”
On January 16, 2016, President Obama declared an emergency in Flint, Michigan, and ordered federal aid efforts in response to the elevated levels of lead in the city’s water system. HHS has been leading these federal efforts.
In March, CMS approved a section 1115 demonstration that extended Medicaid coverage and services to children under age 21 years and to pregnant women with incomes up to and including 400 percent of the federal poverty level who were served by the Flint water system. At the time, CMS said the agency would work with the state on an alternative plan to help target resources for lead abatement activities.
The plan announced today will provide coordinated and targeted lead abatement services for eligible homes in the impacted area to ameliorate all lead risks, including:
- The permanent removal, or enclosure, or encapsulation of lead based paint and lead dust hazards from an eligible home;
- The removal and replacement of surfaces or fixtures within the eligible home (this may include water service lines and other fixtures identified during an environmental investigation as lead hazards);
- The removal or covering of soil lead hazards up to the eligible home property line;
- All preparation, lab sampling analysis, clean up, disposal, and pre and post-abatement paint, dust, soil and clearance testing activities associated with such measures including pre and post-water sampling; and,
- Training to ensure there is a sufficient number of qualified workforce to complete the lead abatement activities.
For more information about the aid efforts the federal government has provided in Flint since the emergency declaration, download the “Flint: By the Numbers” fact sheet – PDF .
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