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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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If a State has already implemented the +/-5 percent overall error rate, is there a requirement to submit any documentation to CMS for review and/or approval?

No, if your State's CMS-approved TSIP already adheres to the 2023 Comprehensive Guide to Medicaid Services and Administrative Claiming on page 112, then the State does not need to amend its TSIP for error rates. We do recommend States look closely at their previously approved Time Study methodology to ensure full compliance with all applicable Federal requirements as discussed in the 2023 Comprehensive Guide to Medicaid Services and Administrative Claiming.

FAQ ID:162366

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Does the 2023 Comprehensive Guide to Medicaid Services and Administrative Claiming supersede previous guidance and apply to all entities participating in Medicaid Administrative Claiming (MAC)?

Yes, States are expected to apply the 2023 Comprehensive Guide to Medicaid Services and Administrative Claiming guidance to all MAC programs for all entities. Both previous guidance documents issued by CMS, including the 1997 School-based Services Technical Review Guide and the 2003 School-based Administrative Claiming Guide, are superseded by the 2023 Comprehensive Guide to Medicaid Services and Administrative Claiming.

FAQ ID:162336

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Does CMS have suggestions for how to ensure that procedural and diagnostic coding for specific services in the school setting are the same as in other settings?

There are no federal requirements for Current Procedural Terminology or International Classification of Diseases codes for Medicaid billing. States may have their own requirements, however. We advise communication between SMAs, SEAs, and LEAs within a State to ensure proper SBS coding guidance.

FAQ ID:162381

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What should a LEA do if nonresponses in a RMTS are greater than 15%?

If the valid response rate is above 85 percent, nonresponses may be discarded and not included in the time study results. However, if the valid response rate is below 85 percent, regardless of the 15 percent oversample, CMS has required all non-responses to be included and coded as non-Medicaid.

FAQ ID:162351

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Is the use of Random Moment Time Studies (RMTS) mandatory for administrative claiming, or do States have the option to employ a different allocation methodology to identify time or cost applicable to medical and/or administrative activities?

No, while an RMTS is typically used to identify and allocate cost, it is not the only option. States also have the flexibility to utilize an alternative methodology for reimbursement and/or allocation, provided there is appropriate documentation for CMS review of the chosen methodology. Regulations on personnel expenses in 45 C.F.R. § 75.430(i) require that charges to federal awards must be based on records that reflect the actual work performed. The records must:

  • be supported by a system of internal controls that provides reasonable assurance charges are accurate, allowable, and properly allocated,
  • reflect the total activity for which the employee is compensated,
  • encompass both federally assisted and all other activities for which the employee is compensated, and
  • support the distribution of the employee's salary or wages among specific activities or cost objectives.

FAQ ID:162316

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I'd like to join the TAC webinars. Where can I sign up, and will there be a recording if I can't make it to the live session?

The TAC’s upcoming events with registration information can be found here: Upcoming Events | Medicaid. Registration links will also be provided via email. Individuals from SMAs, SEAs, LEAs or school-based entities are invited to email the TAC at SchoolBasedServices@cms.hhs.gov to be added to the distribution list. For those unable to attend, recordings of webinars will be posted two weeks after the event here: Past Events | Medicaid. Those registered for the webinar will be sent the recording when it becomes available.

FAQ ID:162286

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Given that the expansion of school-based services is still new for many States, how can the TAC and CMS help States better understand EPSDT services?

The TAC is working to compile best practices from States and work with SEAs, LEAs, and SMAs to come up with ways to expand school-based services. EPSDT is a guarantee of coverage for certain benefits for EPSDT-eligible beneficiaries, but not an independent Medicaid service. The TAC plans to cover the subject of EPSDT during webinar in 2024. Additional information on the EPSDT benefit can be found here: Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment

FAQ ID:162296

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What are the necessary requirements for claiming administrative activities?

First, the activities must be allowable as State program administrative activities. Secondly, the State and/or claiming unit must implement a methodology to properly identify and allocate Medicaid’s portion of cost associated with the allowable State program administrative activity. Finally, the identification and allocation of this cost must be documented in the State’s Public Assistance Cost Allocation Plan (PACAP). According to 45 C.F.R. § 95.517, State Medicaid agencies (SMAs) that intend to claim for allowable administrative activities must have an approved PACAP. As the PACAP is primarily used by the Federal cognizant agency to allocate cost incurred by one direct federal awardee, yet funded by another federal awardee, there may be instances where costs applicable to allowable State program activities are incurred and funded by the SMA. In this instance, the State may identify and allocate the cost via a Medicaid Administrative Claiming (MAC) Plan and include a reference to the identification and allocation of the cost via the MAC Plan in its PACAP.

FAQ ID:162321

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How does the TAC plan to directly interact with LEAs, and what methods will be employed to collaborate with SMAs and LEAs to enhance their effectiveness?

The TAC is actively collaborating with SMAs, advocates, and LEAs to gather insight and opinions on various topics, with the aim of formulating best practices for SBS policies. Through a series of webinars and virtual meetings, the TAC will explore and address a diverse range of subjects to inform best practices in Medicaid SBS and service implementation. Additionally, the TAC is in the process of creating resource materials to aid LEAs and SEAs in effectively managing SBS programs.

FAQ ID:162301

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When is it more appropriate to contact my State Medicaid or Education agency instead of the TAC?

The TAC welcomes all inquiries related to Medicaid School-Based Services in our mailbox at SchoolBasedServices@cms.hhs.gov. We will provide all the technical assistance we can and will advise contacting the State Medicaid or Education agency if further guidance is needed due to State-specific regulations.

FAQ ID:162281

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