CMS Releases Block Grant Guidance: Answers to your FAQs

On January 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its long awaited and highly anticipated State Medicaid Director Letter (SMD Letter) announcing the “Healthy Adult Opportunity” (HAO) initiative that will allow states to carry out demonstrations to implement either an aggregate or per-capita cap financing model for certain Medicaid populations.  We’ve previously previewed and highlighted some of the key expectations for this long-awaited guidance.… More

Ten Things to Watch for in the Forthcoming Block Grant Guidance (UPDATED)

UPDATED: It’s out! The much anticipated guidance, entitled the “Healthy Adult Opportunity” (HAO), from CMS introducing ways to revamp Medicaid financing has been out for nearly a week and we have had some time to review the guidance in more detail. We’ve update our questions below with answers based on our review of the guidance document.

As previously reported here on the blog,… More

Supreme Court, in a Close Vote, Stays the Injunctions on the Public Charge Rule

Last summer, we wrote about the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) public charge rule.  As a reminder, that rule added some definition to the grounds of inadmissibility to the United States because of the likelihood that an applicant for an immigration benefit – such as a green card applicant or an individual seeking a visa to enter the United States – is likely to become a “public charge.”  We’re interested in that here at the Medicaid and the Law Blog because one of the factors that the final regulation would consider is whether the applicant has ever used Medicaid in the past or was likely to do so.… More

CMS Issues Guidance to States on 340B Duplicate Discounts

Late last year, we noted that the Massachusetts Medicaid program had proposed regulations to address issues related to the prohibition on duplicate discounts in the 340B program.  The Massachusetts solution was relatively straightforward:  for high-cost drugs, Massachusetts Medicaid was going to claim the Medicaid rebate on those drugs itself, meaning that qualifying hospitals could not acquire the drugs under the 340B program.  Little did we know that CMS was also planning to address the same issue,… More

CMS Is Seeking Guidance on Medicaid Coverage for Children Provided Across State Lines

The Medicaid program generally has more generous coverage rules for children than for adults.  For example, under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Testing (EPSDT) provisions of the Medicaid statute, if a child’s medical condition is identified via an EPSDT screening, the state’s Medicaid plan must cover treatment for that condition, even if the necessary treatment consists of an optional benefit under the state Medicaid plan.… More

MACPAC Releases Updated MACStats

Our friends at MACPAC have released the December 2019 edition of MACStats:  the Medicaid and CHIP data book.  MACStats has data and statistics on virtually any aspect of Medicaid and CHIP that you’d care to learn about.  You can find the link to the document here.

The data book has five sections:  key statistics (including Medicaid and CHIP enrollment which, as we pointed out in a post last month,… More

MACPAC Releases Status Update on 2014 HCBS Final Rule

We’ve written previously about the the 2014 final regulation issued by the Obama administration making significant updates to the requirements for the qualities of settings eligible for reimbursement for Medicaid home-and-community-based services (HCBS) provided under sections 1915(c), 1915(i) and 1915(k) of the Medicaid statute. With the deadline for full compliance nearing (HCBS providers must comply with the new requirements by March 17, 2022,… More

Massachusetts Medicaid Proposes Changes to Hospital Acquisition of Costly Prescription Drugs

Earlier this year, we wrote about a lawsuit involving the 340B drug pricing program.  We sometimes write about the 340B program because  it is integrally linked to the Medicaid prescription drug rebate program.  So today, we wanted to call attention to a proposed regulation issued by the Massachusetts Medicaid program (which is called “MassHealth”) that shows that link clearly.

Section 1927 of the Social Security Act requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide a rebate to state Medicaid plans if they want to have their drugs covered by Medicaid. … More

Latest HHS Financial Report Highlights Medicaid Eligibility Errors – and Foreshadows Future Actions

On November 19, 2019, CMS announced key results from the 2019 HHS Agency Financial Report, which generally provides fiscal and high-level performance data for HHS for the reporting period of October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019. While CMS leads off its press release with the good news — payment error rates in the Medicare fee-for-service program are at their lowest level since FY 2010 —… More

CMS Withdraws Block Grant Guidance – What’s Next?

We’ve posted previously the long-standing rumor (substantiated by several folks within the Administration) that CMS is working on a guidance document to states to receive their Medicaid funding through a block grant. In June, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) received a guidance document entitled, “State Medicaid Director Letter: Medicaid Value and Accountability Demonstration Opportunity.” This document was widely reported by press as the block grant guidance document.  … More