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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.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.

FAQ Library

Showing 1 to 10 of 32 results

Will there be any automatic updates coming through the Federal data services hub? Or will we always need to make a call to the Federal data services hub in order to get any information back? If a change is likely will the state need to send ongoing, frequent requests through the Federal data services hub?

Generally, information from the Federal data services hub will only be sent in direct response to a call from the requesting entity. However, in the case of verifications conducted by DHS, there can be up to three steps to a verification, the second and third of which will not be in real time. If the step 1 query fails, the Federal data services hub will automatically invoke step 2, and the response may take up to several days. If step 2 fails, the Federal data services hub will notify the requesting entity which will need to submit additional documentation from the applicant for step 3. The step 3 response can take weeks. During this time, the Federal data services hub will regularly poll DHS to see if the response has come back.

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FAQ ID:93316

Is a level of care assessment eligible for the 75% match?

No. The 75%/25% matching rate for eligibility systems is limited by the statute to activities directly related to an eligibility determination. A level of care assessment is not directly related to the eligibility determination. Although the assessment itself is not eligible for the 75% match, the entry of the level of care result into the eligibility system may be matched at 75%.

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FAQ ID:92646

Is a disability determination eligible for the 75% match?

No. A disability determination is not directly related to the eligibility determination, even though the outcome of that determination may be used to identify the appropriate eligibility group, financial methodology and the benefits that will be available to the individual. The eligibility group, financial methodology and benefits are based on the state plan, not on the eligibility system. Although the disability determination itself is not eligible for the 75% match, the entry of the disability information into the eligibility system may be matched at 75%. This analysis is based on the SMM Sec. 11276.7 B, which discusses prior authorization and claims processing. The prior authorization itself is not eligible for the 75% match, however the program decision, based on that prior authorization, to pay or not pay a claim that is pending in the system is eligible for the 75% match.

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FAQ ID:92651

Are application assisters, navigators and out-stationed eligibility workers eligible for the 75% match?

Individuals who assist applicants by facilitating their applications, who perform outreach activities, or who enter application data on behalf of the applicant are not eligible for the 75% match. Only individuals who are authorized by the single state agency to enter data other than application elements into the eligibility system, who have responsibility for evaluating data in order to make an eligibility determination, who are authorized to exercise discretion in the evaluation of data, who are authorized to make an eligibility determination and who are accountable to the single state agency for such determinations are eligible the 75% match for those activities. This includes eligibility workers, whether in house or out-stationed, as long as there is a formal, written agreement with the single state agency that authorizes their eligibility activities and specifies direct lines of accountability to the single state agency. Both intake workers and on-going eligibility workers who meet these requirements may be claimed at 75%, based on appropriate cost allocations.

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FAQ ID:92656

Can states claim 75 percent FFP for ongoing operational costs of their eligibility determination system? What costs are eligible for the enhanced FFP?

Yes, 75 percent FFP is available for ongoing costs of operating approved eligibility determination systems, often referred to as "E&E" systems, that meet the Standards and Conditions for Medicaid IT and critical success factors. (See: State Medicaid Director Letter on APD Requirements dated June 27, 2016 (SMD# 16-009), to be found at https://www.medicaid.gov/federal-policy-guidance/federal-policy-guidance.html.

Section 1903(a)(3)(B) of the Social Security Act provides 75 percent FFP for costs associated with operating an approved Medicaid management information system (MMIS). The Medicaid manual further clarifies at Section 11276.3 A. MMIS Operations, "FFP at 75 percent is available for direct costs directly attributable to the Medicaid program for ongoing automated processing of claims, payments, and reports. Included are forms, use of system hardware and supplies, maintenance of software and documentation, and personnel costs of operations control clerks, suspense and/or exception claims processing clerks, data entry operators, microfilm operators, terminal operators, peripheral equipment operators, computer operators, and claims coding clerks if the coded data is used in the MMIS, and all direct costs specifically identified to these cost objectives. Report users, such as staff who perform follow-up investigations, are not considered part of the MMIS."

States may claim 75 percent FFP for the costs of certain personnel closely associated with operating claims processing and related systems under MMIS. As noted in our final rule, Medicaid Program; Federal Funding for Medicaid Eligibility Determination and Enrollment Activities (CMS-2346-F), in response to comments, "enhanced funding is available for staff time spent on mechanized eligibility determination systems in the same manner that they apply to all mechanized claims processing and information retrieval systems, since mechanized eligibility determination systems are now considered to be part of such systems, assuming the requirements of this section are met." (See: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2011/04/19/2011-9340/medicaid-program-federalfunding-for-medicaid-eligibility-determination-and-enrollment-activities ).H59 Additional information on FFP rates, including tables delineating specific covered costs, is available in the State Medicaid Director Letter on Enhanced Funding dated March 31, 2016 (SMD# 16-004), to be found at https://www.medicaid.gov/federal-policy-guidance/federal-policy-guidance.html.

States should work closely with CMS during the APD process to provide appropriate documentation concerning their cost allocation and claiming plans. In states where workers determine eligibility or provide customer service for multiple health and human service programs, costs should be allocated across programs, as discussed further in FAQ# 40811.

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FAQ ID:93696

When will states be eligible to claim the 75 percent FFP for ongoing maintenance and operations of eligibility determination systems? Does the 75 percent FFP expire?

Eligibility for the enhanced FFP will be based on state systems being compliant with the Standards and Conditions for Medicaid IT, including meeting minimum critical success factors for accepting the new single streamlined application, making MAGI-based determinations and coordinating with Marketplaces. The 75 percent FFP will generally be available when the approved system becomes operational. The 75 percent FFP will not expire.
The start date for the 75 percent FFP for maintenance and operations is the actual start of the operations of the approved eligibility determination system (also referred to as "E&E" system).

We recognize states may be phasing in system upgrades that implement modified adjusted gross income (MAGI)-based eligibility determinations first, with subsequent releases to include non-MAGI and/or other human services programs eligibility. We will allow the 75 percent FFP to begin with the start of the approved MAGI shared eligibility service, based upon an approved Operations APD, that meets the critical success factors. Further, states with challenges in meeting critical success factors at the expected service level must have approved mitigation strategies in order to qualify.

In order to begin claiming, states should submit an Operations APD to CMS that clearly identifies the functions, staff and costs to be charged at the 75 percent FFP level, and it must be approved by CMS before a state can begin claiming the enhanced match.

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FAQ ID:93701

Can states use enhanced funding for staff that they will need to bring on prior to the start date in order to train them to be ready for the start of operations?

Costs associated with the training of eligibility workers directly engaged in the operation of the new eligibility system may be eligible to be matched at the enhanced rate during the three months (or less) prior to the start of operations. An APD update would be required to document the costs, scope and timing of the training period, which will be reviewed and approved by CMS prior to a state being eligible to claim the enhanced match. States must be able to demonstrate their eligibility determination (also known as "E&E") system will be operationally ready, comply with the Standards and Conditions for Medicaid IT, and meet minimum critical success factors in order to claim the enhanced funding during this training period.

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FAQ ID:93706

Would the 75 percent FFP for eligibility workers (i.e. salaries/benefits) also include other resources needed to do the job (such as the phone lines for the call center, rent, computers, etc.)?

Yes. Certain types of personnel costs are eligible for the 75 percent matching rate, subject to current MMIS maintenance and operations claiming rules. The State Medicaid Manual delineates which types of personnel costs can be claimed at enhanced match, including staff direct labor and fringe benefit costs. Only direct costs allocable to the development or operation of an MMIS (including Medicaid eligibility determination system) are eligible for reimbursement at enhanced FFP rates. Such costs include: utilities, rent, telephone service, etc., necessitated by either the development or operation of an MMIS or eligibility determination system. Costs which cannot be specifically identified with the development or operation of an MMIS (including Medicaid eligibility determination system) are matched at 50 percent FFP.

Such costs are usually indirect costs including the staff costs associated with agency-wide functions such as accounting, budgeting, and general administration.

The state must submit an Operations APD which includes an allocation or distribution plan showing the breakout of direct and indirect costs for equipment, supplies, and non-personnel resources it intends to claim, and justification for those.

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FAQ ID:93711

Do states need to cost allocate eligibility worker costs across programs? Will claiming the 75 percent FFP require new or increased time reporting by employees? What must a state submit in its operations APD and cost allocation plan?

In situations where eligibility workers determine eligibility for multiple programs, all costs must be distributed to the appropriate programs and governing FFP rates (90/75/50) based on approved time study methodologies and/or cost allocation plans consistent with OMB Circular A-87 cost allocation principles. These costs must also clearly differentiate between resources needed for direct data and systems-related activities and resources needed for MMIS and eligibility determination systems versus program management and oversight activities, which are only eligible for 50 percent FFP. State agencies performing eligibility determination currently develop and maintain methodologies for allocating costs among different health and human services programs. CMS does not anticipate the additional reporting required to obtain 75 percent FFP will add a significant amount of time to that process. From 45 CFR section 95.507, Plan requirements, the cost allocation support should include the following:

  • A description of the procedures used to identify, measure, and allocate all costs to each of the programs
  • Conform to the accounting principles and standards prescribed in Office of Management and Budget Circular A-87, and other pertinent Department regulations and instructions;
  • Contain sufficient information in such detail to make an informed judgment on the correctness and fairness of the state's procedures for identifying, measuring, and allocating the costs
  • The cost allocation plan shall contain the following information:
    • An organizational chart showing the placement of each unit whose costs are charged to the programs operated by the state agency
    • A listing of all federal and all non-federal programs performed, administered, or serviced by these organizational units.
    • A description of the activities performed by each organizational unit and, where not self-explanatory an explanation of the benefits provided to federal programs.
    • The procedures used to identify, measure, and allocate all costs to each benefiting program and activity (including activities subject to different rates of FFP).

States should consult with their CMS cost allocation leads to determine whether any change to their approved cost allocation plan is needed and work with their counterparts at human services agencies as necessary. The methods of cost allocation should be documented in the state operations APD update submission to support the proposed budget.

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FAQ ID:93721

How will CMS monitor and oversee state implementation? Will CMS ask states to report on enhanced maintenance and operations activities separately on the CMS-64-10 and 37-10? How will CMS verify state reporting?

As noted earlier, states must submit an Operations APD to request this funding. CMS will monitor state implementation of the enhanced 75 percent FFP through ongoing review of state eligibility system implementation and operations, as well as through revised claims reporting. Specifically, CMS is revising the CMS-64-10 and 37-10 forms to separately capture eligibility determination system related maintenance and operations costs. We will separately track costs related to IT systems and eligibility determination staff as follows:

  • For the IT and systems maintenance and operations, costs will be reported on the CMS-64-10 and 37-10 on line 28C - Operation of an approved Medicaid eligibility determination system/cost of in-house activities - 75 percent FFP and 28D - Operation of an approved Medicaid eligibility determination system/cost private sector contractors- 75 percent FFP.
  • For the Eligibility Determination workers staffing eligible for enhanced match, costs will be reported on the CMS-64-10 and 37-10 on line 28E - Eligibility Determination staff - cost of in-house activities - 75 percent FFP and 28F- Eligibility Determination staff - cost of private sector contractors - 75 percent FFP.
  • For the Eligibility Determinations workers staffing eligible for regular administrative match, costs will be reported on the CMS-64-10 and 37-10 on line 28G - Eligibility Determination staff - cost of in-hour activities - 50 percent FFP and 28 H - cost of private sector contractors - 50 percent FFP.

As this enhanced match is implemented, CMS will closely monitor implementation and reporting, and if necessary, will revise how this data is collected on the estimate and expenditure reporting forms to ensure states and CMS have the proper break out to track these activities and their related claims.

Furthermore, CMS will continue to work with states over time to ensure that their systems continue to remain compliant with the Seven Conditions and Standards. For example, under the Reporting Condition, state systems should be able to produce accurate data that are necessary for oversight, administration, evaluation, integrity and transparency. CMS has recently provided technical specifications for the Transformed Medicaid Statistical Information System (TMSIS) data file to states following more than a year of collaboration with states participating in the T-MSIS pilot. CMS envisions that the T-MSIS data file will be submitted on a monthly basis. We anticipate releasing additional guidance on this subject in the coming weeks.

As with all expenditures, federal match must be properly claimed and is subject to review and approval. Again, CMS will work closely with the each state to review and approve costs covered and will use the APD process to confirm with states specific implementation details, before states start to submit claims.

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FAQ ID:93726

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