On April 22, 2021 the Tennessee Justice Center and the National Health Law Program, representing thirteen (13) aggrieved Medicaid beneficiaries in the state of Tennessee, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seeking to block the implementation of the TennCare III “modified block grant” 1115 waiver approved in the waning days of the Trump Administration.… More
Tag Archives: block grants
CMS Begins Internal Purge of Trump-Era Medicaid Policies
While CMS has been relatively quiet as of late from a public-facing perspective as it waits for new political leadership to arrive (including newly announced CMS Administrator, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure), a recent review by your Editors at www.MedicandandtheLaw.com of CMS’ website indicates a fast-paced effort to roll back a number of Trump-era Medicaid policies, particularly around waiver flexibilities. As I recently mentioned,… More
President Biden Takes First Step Towards Reversing Trump Era Medicaid Policies
On January 28th, President Biden issued an “Executive Order on Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.” The E.O. states that the Biden Administration will promote policies that “protect and strengthen Medicaid and the ACA and … make high-quality healthcare accessible and affordable for every American.” To this end, the E.O. makes several important policy changes, including asking the HHS Secretary to establish a Special Enrollment Period for the ACA marketplace,… More
CMS Approves Tennessee “Block Grant” Waiver: A Summary and Analysis from your Editors
For our discussion of the new “closed formulary” flexibility approved in Tennessee, you can read our follow-up post here.
On Friday January 8th, in the final days of the Trump Administration, CMS announced approval of a first-in-the-nation waiver that would permit Tennessee to transition from Medicaid’s longstanding, open-ended financing model to a modified “block grant” model – a financing system under which the Federal government has agreed to commit a discrete amount of dollars to the state,… 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
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 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
Tennessee Announces First-in-Nation Block Grant Proposal
On September 17, 2019, Tennessee released its proposal to block grant most of the funding the state’s Medicaid program (TennCare) receives from the Federal government. If approved by CMS, the amendment to the state’s longstanding 1115 waiver program would make Tennessee the first state in the nation to move to a true “block grant” format for Medicaid funding. A draft of the proposed waiver is available on the state’s website —… More
As Block Grants Resurface, Does CMS have the Authority?
A recent news article suggests that Trump Administration officials are considering allowing states to receive their Medicaid funding through a block grant. The article did not specify how CMS would accomplish such a goal without a statutory change. Details are supposedly being developed, but until we see those details, it’s hard to know exactly what the agency is considering.
My colleagues and I at the Medicaid and the Law Blog thought it might be helpful to provide some background on the concept of block grants in Medicaid,… More