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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should I contact if I have additional questions about the Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) measures?
If you have additional questions about these measures, please submit your question to the technical assistance mailbox at MLTSSmeasures@cms.hhs.gov for assistance.
Why were the Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) measures developed?
As more states shift to MLTSS and gain more experience, the need to measure program outcomes and quality has increased. The new quality measures, which were carefully designed for beneficiaries enrolled in MLTSS plans, represent a major step forward in giving the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), states, MLTSS plans, providers, and consumers the ability to compare the performance of MLTSS programs and plans within and across states. Specifically, CMS wanted to create nationally-standardized measures meeting importance, usability, feasibility, and scientific validity and reliability standards for use across MLTSS plans and state Medicaid programs to fill key gaps in MLTSS measure domains while not duplicating other measures that have been developed or are currently under development.
Is the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requiring reporting of the Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) measures?
No, CMS does not require states or MLTSS plans to report these measures. However, states may choose to require plans to report any of these measures to the state Medicaid agency.
A Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) plan may document the data elements required for MLTSS measures, but the information may be recorded in different locations or abstracted inconsistently from members' records. What can states and plans do to ease the potential burden of data collection and help standardize the data collection process?
Through our discussions with MLTSS plans, we learned that plans—particularly those operating in multiple states—can ease the burden of data collection by mapping their existing assessment and care plan tools to the standardized data elements and terminology in these measures, which would make it easier to abstract data and standardize the data collection process. It is also important for MLTSS plan managers to train staff to document assessment and care plan elements consistently, as well as train individuals responsible for collecting data on how to interpret each of the elements specified in each measure. Plans can also ease the burden of data collection by ensuring data from multiple sources are consolidated into a central data system.
Care managers often do not document data elements in the assessment and care plan measures unless the member has "a problem." For example, they may not document that they assessed the member's vision or need for an assistive device if no problem was identified. How can states or plans address this issue?
Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) plan managers should provide training on proper documentation practices to care managers and other delegated staff. States and MLTSS plans could consider including data field entry options to remind care managers to record all results of the assessment, even if findings are negative, that is, the member does not have a problem or need assistance or services. For example, states and plans could include a question in the member’s record that requires the care manager to document both whether an assessment was performed and whether a problem was identified, along with another required field to include the details of the problem if there was a problem identified.
How should states validate plan-reported Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) measure rates?
If MLTSS plans report measure rates directly to the state, the state should conduct an independent review of a sample of members included in the reported measures, for example, by the External Quality Review Organization or state-employed abstractors.
Can all eight Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) measures be applied to members who receive LTSS benefits but do not receive a medical care benefit (for example, hospitalizations, primary and specialty physician care, and other outpatient services) through an MLTSS plan?
Four of the eight measures (LTSS Comprehensive Assessment and Update, LTSS Comprehensive Care Plan and Update, LTSS Shared Care Plan with Primary Care Practitioner (PCP), and Screening, Risk Assessment, and Plan of Care to Prevent Future Falls) apply to all members receiving a LTSS benefit through the MLTSS plan regardless of whether the MLTSS plan covers their medical care benefit. The remaining four measures (LTSS Reassessment/Care Plan Update after Inpatient Discharge, LTSS Admission to an Institution from the Community, LTSS Minimizing Institutional Length of Stay, and LTSS Successful Transition after Long-Term Institutional Stay) require members to receive a medical benefit through the MLTSS plan to be eligible for the measures (that is, the MLTSS plan is the primary payer for the medical care services, such as inpatient hospital stays and post-acute care). These four measures rely on inpatient claims (that is, hospital and skilled nursing facility), which may not be available to the MLTSS plan if the plan is not the primary payer for the service. Although members whose medical care benefits are not covered through the MLTSS plan are not eligible for the measure, we recommend MLTSS plans track members’ admissions or discharges from inpatient facilities where possible.
If MLTSS plans can obtain timely, complete, and accurate inpatient claims data for their members, then a state may choose to deviate from the measure specifications to require that MLTSS plans not providing medical benefits report these four measures.
Do Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) measures apply to participants in Home and Community Based Services 1915(c) waiver programs?
The measures are intended for any MLTSS plan that covers Medicaid LTSS benefits. Federal regulations pertaining to 1915(c) waivers require person-centered service plans,1 but states can decide whether to require MLTSS plans participating in a state program operating under 1915(c) authority report these measures, and if they do, states can specify which types of plans and eligible members to which the measures apply.
1"In accordance with 42 CFR §441.301 (b)(1)(i), all waiver services must be furnished pursuant to a written service plan that is developed for each waiver participant." (1915c waiver application, Instructions, Technical Guide and Review Criteria (PDF, 2.29 MB), Appendix D-1: Service Plan Development, CMCS, DEHPG, November 2014.
Which are the Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) assessment and care planning measures?
The MLTSS assessment and care planning measures include:
- LTSS Comprehensive Assessment and Update
- LTSS Comprehensive Care Plan and Update
- LTSS Shared Care Plan with Primary Care Practitioner(PCP)
- LTSS Reassessment/Care Plan Update after Inpatient Discharge
- Screening, Risk Assessment, and Plan of Care to Prevent Future Falls: Falls Part 1 (Screening) and Falls Part 2 (Risk Assessment and Plan of Care)
Should states require plans to report both the core and supplemental rates for the Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) LTSS Comprehensive Assessment and Update, LTSS Comprehensive Care Plan and Update measures, and LTSS Reassessment/Care Plan Update After Inpatient Discharge measures?
It is recommended that MLTSS plans report both rates. However, if the state believes there are valid reasons for not reporting both rates, such as costly changes in assessment and care planning forms and information technology systems, it might consider phasing in the supplemental rates over time. For instance, in the first year of measure use (for example, measurement year 2018), the state could require MLTSS plans to report just the core rate, and then require that MLTSS plans report both core and supplemental rates for measurement year 2019 or 2020. Although they are called "supplemental rates," they are still very important, and should be viewed as "aspirational." MLTSS plans should strive to cover more assessment and care plan elements over time.