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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 10 results

What is reuse?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services expects states receiving Federal Financial Participation to share with other states project artifacts, documents and other related materials, and systems components and code for leverage and reuse.

Read the state Medicaid director letter (SMD #18-005) on reuse (PDF, 70.77 KB). Reuse can be accomplished through sharing or acquiring:

  • An entire set of business services or systems, including shared hosting of a system or shared acquisition and management of a turnkey service
  • A complete business service or a stand-alone system module
  • Subcomponents such as code segments, rule bases, configurations, customizations, and other parts of a system or module that are designed for reuse

FAQ ID:93631

How do states get started with reuse?

To get started with reuse, a state can:

FAQ ID:93636

What is the Reuse Repository, and how can states access it?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) established the Medicaid Enterprise Systems (MES) Reuse Repository to support states’ ability to share and reuse project life cycle artifacts. The repository is available on the CMS zONE (Opportunity to Network and Engage). States must have a CMS Enterprise Identity Management login to access the Reuse Repository.

View complete instructions for accessing the Reuse Repository.

Contact MES at MES@cms.hhs.gov for additional assistance in accessing the repository.

FAQ ID:93641

Is training available for reuse concepts and tools?

The reuse webpage on Medicaid.gov features an introductory video and more information about reuse. The webpage also has policy guidance documents.

The Medicaid Enterprise Systems Reuse Repository has instructions on how to use its features. These include how to add artifacts, search for artifacts, use the discussion forum features, and more.

FAQ ID:93646

How do states share?

States can share reusable artifacts with others in several ways. States can participate in workgroups such as the Medicaid Management Information System Cohort, State Technical Advisory Group, and any other relevant state groups to facilitate knowledge sharing, partnerships, and collaboration. States with access to the Reuse Repository also may add their reusable artifacts directly to the repository.

View complete instructions for accessing the Medicaid Enterprise Systems (MES) Reuse Repository. Contact MES at MES@cms.hhs.gov for additional assistance in accessing the repository or participating in workgroups.

FAQ ID:93651

If a state is reusing a system or module already certified in another state, do they still need to go through certification review and decision?

Certification is required for any new implementation, whether it is a custom- developed module that is transferred from another state, or a commercial off-the-shelf module that is being configured and integrated. The certification process looks at the state’s implementation of the solution to ensure the state has met all federal requirements.

States may reuse system documentation and other supporting evidence from a previous state certification if it is available and applicable to their systems and has been reconfirmed by independent verification and validation.

FAQ ID:93656

What aspects of reuse do states need to be aware of when developing advance planning documents (APDs)?

APDs must demonstrate a reuse-friendly design that includes the sharing of systems, modules, code, and any other developed artifacts. States could include language describing their efforts to find and learn from or reuse components from similar systems, or efforts the state is making to ensure that other states more easily can reuse the proposed system once it is developed.

FAQ ID:93661

What is the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) policy regarding ownership rights?

From an intellectual property standpoint, reuse is supported by the general grant conditions for Federal Financial Participation (FFP) under 45 CFR 95.617, which require states to "include a clause in all procurement instruments that provides that the State or local government will have all ownership rights in software or modifications thereof and associated documentation designed, developed, or installed with FFP under this subpart."

Further, according to 42 CFR 433.112(6), CMS has "a royalty free, non-exclusive, and irrevocable license to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use and authorize others to use, for Federal Government purposes, software, modifications to software, and documentation that is designed, developed, installed or enhanced with 90 percent FFP."

In practice, this means that vendors retain ownership rights to software and other products they have developed under their own initiative and funding, while states and CMS have ownership rights to and may share any software, customizations, configurations, or add-ons funded with FFP.

FAQ ID:93666

When will we have final rules on essential health benefits, actuarial value, and rating?

In section 156.100 of the proposed rule on Essential Health Benefits/Actuarial Value/Accreditation, we propose criteria for the selection process for a state that chooses to select a benchmark plan. The essential health benefits benchmark plan would serve as a reference plan, reflecting both the scope of services and limits offered by a typical employer plan in that state. This approach and benchmark selection, which would apply for at least the 2014 and 2015 benefit years, would allow states to build on coverage that is already widely available, minimize market disruption, and provide consumers with familiar products. Since some base-benchmark plan options may not cover all ten of the statutorily required essential health benefits categories, we propose standards for supplementing a base-benchmark plan that does not provide coverage of one or more of the categories.

We also propose that if a base-benchmark plan option does not cover any items and services within an essential health benefits category, the base-benchmark plan must be supplemented by adding that particular category in its entirety from another base-benchmark plan option. The resulting plan, which would reflect a base-benchmark that covers all ten essential health benefits categories, must meet standards for nondiscrimination and balance. After meeting these standards, it would be considered the essential health benefits-benchmark plan.

The proposed rule also outlines the process by which HHS would supplement a default base-benchmark plan, if necessary. We clarify that to the extent that the default base-benchmark plan option does not cover any items and services within an essential health benefits category, the category must be added by supplementing the base-benchmark plan with that particular category in its entirety from another base-benchmark plan option. Specifically, we propose that HHS would supplement the category of benefits in the default base benchmark plan with the first of the following options that offer benefits in that particular essential health benefits category: (1) the largest plan by enrollment in the second largest product in the state's small group market; (2) the largest plan by enrollment in the third largest product in the state's small group market; (3) the largest national Federal Employees Health Benefit Program plan by enrollment across states that is offered to federal employees; (4) the largest dental plan under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program, for pediatric oral care benefits; (5) the largest vision plan under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program, for pediatric vision care benefits; and (6) habilitative services as described in section 156.110(f) or 156.115(a)(4).

Supplemental Links:

FAQ ID:94466

What level of benefit is required in a specific benchmark to satisfy the ten essential health benefit categories? What process will be undertaken by HHS to select backfilling benefit options if a state defaults to the largest small group product?

The U.S. Office of Personal Management released a proposed rule implementing the Multi-State Plan Program on November 30, 2012. To ensure that the Multi-State Plans are competing on a level playing field with other plans in the marketplace, the proposed regulation largely defers to state insurance law and the standards promulgated by HHS and states related to qualified health plans. Under the proposal, Multi-State Plans will be evaluated based largely on the same criteria as other qualified health plans operating in Exchanges. The few areas in which the Office of Personal Management proposes different regulatory standards from those applicable to qualified health plans are areas where the Office of Personal Management has extensive experience through its administration of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. However, in order to ensure that these few differences will not create any unfair advantages, the Office of Personal Management seeks comment from states and other stakeholders on these proposals. The regulation appeared in the Federal Register on December 5, 2012, and the comment period runs through January 4, 2013.

Supplemental Links:

FAQ ID:94471

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