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
Upon analysis by states, what if an edit is found to be in conflict with a state law or regulation, but is currently included within a National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) methodology?
CMS allows states to consider edits on an individual, state-by-state basis. If a state determines that an edit in the Medicaid NCCI methodologies conflicts with one or more state laws, regulations, administrative rules, or payment policies, the state can request permission from CMS to deactivate the conflicting edit. States are not afforded the flexibility to deactivate edits after March 31, 2011, due to a lack of operational readiness.
If a state determines and documents that there is no other feasible way to comply with Medicaid NCCI edits, the state can send a request to deactivate that edit or those individual edits using the NCCI mailbox at NCCIPTPMUE@cms.hhs.gov. The request must include sufficient primary source documentation of the conflicting state law, regulation, administrative rule, or payment policy. States are no longer required to send NCCI deactivation requests to CMS Regional Offices.
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
How do states get started with reuse?
To get started with reuse, a state can:
- Review the state Medicaid director letter (SMD #18-005) on reuse (PDF, 70.77 KB)
- View the introductory video to get familiar with the concept and framework of reuse
- Contact the Medicaid Enterprise Systems (MES) at MES@cms.hhs.gov to request access to the MES Reuse Repository
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What are National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) methodologies and are these methodologies compatible with the Medicaid program?
The NCCI methodologies are made up of the following four components:
- Sets of edits
- Definitions of types of claims subject to the edits
- Sets of claim-adjudication rules for applying the edits
- Sets of rules for addressing provider/supplier appeals of denied payments for services based on the edits
The NCCI methodologies include both NCCI Procedure-to-Procedure (PTP) edits and Medically Unlikely Edits (MUEs).
CMS issued SMDL #11-003 (PDF, 159.55 KB) on April 22, 2011, to state CMS policy on the requirement for appeals of claims for which payment was denied due to an NCCI edit. The nature of the appeals process in each state is left to the discretion of the state's Medicaid agency.
CMS currently has six methodologies for Medicare Part B. These methodologes are the following:
- NCCI PTP edits for practitioner and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) services
- NCCI PTP edits for outpatient services (including emergency department, observation, and hospital laboratory services) in hospitals reimbursed through the hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS). Edits are applied to all facility therapy services billed to the Medicare Fiscal Intermediary (Part A Hospital / Part B Practitioner Medicare Administrative Contractors processing claims with the Fiscal Intermediary Shared System).
- MUE units-of-service edits for practitioner and ASC services
- MUE units-of-service edits for outpatient services in hospitals
- MUE units-of-service edits for supplier claims for durable medical equipment
- Add-on code edits for practitioner and ASC services (added in April 2013).
After review, CMS determined that the first five NCCI methodologies listed above were compatible methodologies for claims filed in Medicaid. A sixth methodology for Medicaid was added in 2012: NCCI PTP edits for Durable Medical Equipment (DME).