The COVID-19 Pandemic and Implications for Medicaid

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began to seriously affect the United States in March, Congress has passed four major pieces of legislation to address the public health crisis.  CMS has also jumped into action and has issued a series of waivers designed to ensure that the American health care system can function without bureaucratic obstacles preventing the appropriate delivery of care.  Today, we want to highlight some of the major Medicaid provisions of those four pieces of legislation;… More

MACPAC Expresses Concern Regarding Payments to High-Medicaid Providers During Coronavirus Pandemic

We haven’t posted on the blog in a while due to the rapid increase in our workload due to the coronavirus pandemic.  We’re preparing a longer post that will go through everything that’s happened in Medicaid legislatively and administratively in the past six weeks that will be up soon, but wanted to flag an important development in today’s post.

On March 27, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid,… More

CMS Issues Guidance on FMAP Increase During COVID-19 Outbreak

As my colleague Tom Barker wrote last week, the second emergency COVID-19 supplemental bill (officially referred to as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act), signed by the President on March 18, 2020, included a new section 6008 increasing each state Medicaid program’s federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) by 6.2% during the period of the current national emergency to the extent they abide by certain minimum standards.… More

The COVID-19 Pandemic and Medicaid (UPDATED)

The global pandemic caused by the novel corona virus has certainly shaken up our normal way of life and will do so for the foreseeable future.  Times like this reinforce the importance of public health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid.  Our post today addresses many of the ways that CMS and Congress are bolstering the Medicaid program to respond to the unique challenges posed by the pandemic.  We’ve updated this post to reflect the fact that,… More

Oklahoma releases draft “block grant” waiver application for public comment

We are still reviewing the just-released draft waiver from Oklahoma, but wanted to share with our readers in the meantime. As we’ve discussed here previously, we expected Oklahoma to be the first-mover after release of the Trump Administration’s Health Adult Opportunity guidance in January.

You can read the full draft waiver here.

Public comments are due April 15,… More

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

UPDATED 2.25.2020 to reflect decision in Wolf v. Cook County, Illinois

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

Washington D.C. Appellate Court Upholds Prohibition on Medicaid Work Requirement Waivers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) suffered a big loss in court last week.  The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that blocked CMS from implementing one of the hallmarks of the Trump Administration’s efforts to restructure the Medicaid program.  We first wrote about the agency’s attempts to require some Medicaid recipients to participate in community engagement activities back in 2018. … More

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

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