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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions are used to provide additional information and/or statutory guidance not found in State Medicaid Director Letters, State Health Official Letters, or CMCS Informational Bulletins. The different sets of FAQs as originally released can be accessed below.

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What is the process and timeline for CMS review and approval of SPAs? Additionally, what are the essential requirements for an SPA?

In order to submit an SPA package, States will formally submit a cover letter that briefly states the intention behind the SPA, a revised Form 179, the revised, applicable State plan pages, and if applicable, a sample cost report with cost report instructions. Please note that CMS does not formally approve the cost report, however the agency’s analysis of it will help to ensure the State is determining cost in a manner consistent with applicable regulation and statutes. Once a State submits an SPA to CMS, the agency has 90 days in which it can approve the SPA, disapprove the SPA, or formally request more information to determine whether the SPA comports with applicable regulations and statutes. If the agency sends a formal request for additional information (RAI), the State then has 90 days to formally respond to the RAI. Once the State responds, CMS has 90 days to either approve or disapprove the SPA.

FAQ ID:162411


Are there examples of SPAs that can be used to implement school-based services?

Yes, examples of approved SPAs for States that expanded services beyond IDEA services (e.g., Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico) can be found on CMS' website at the following link: https://www.medicaid.gov/resources-for-states/medicaid-state-technical-assistance/medicaid-and-school-based-services/technical-assistance-materials/index.html

It's important to note that each State, District of Columbia, and territory is unique, and it is crucial to ensure that the SPA aligns with the specific needs and laws of the State.

FAQ ID:162416

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