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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.

FAQ Library

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Does the LTSS Reassessment/Care Plan Update after Inpatient Discharge measure include discharges for planned hospital admissions?

No; discharges for planned hospital admissions are excluded from the measure denominator. Identify planned discharges using the value sets (XLSX, 2.88 MB).

FAQ ID:89236

Does the re-assessment and care plan update need to include the core elements specified in the LTSS Comprehensive Assessment and Update and LTSS Comprehensive Care Plan and Update measures and be done face-to-face?

Yes, both the re-assessment and the care plan must include each of the nine specified core elements. The re-assessment and care plan must be done face-to-face unless there is documentation that the member refused a face-to-face encounter.

FAQ ID:89241

Why does the LTSS Reassessment/Care Plan Update after Inpatient Discharge measure exclude members who do not receive medical benefits through their Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) plan?

The denominator for the Reassessment/Care Plan Update after Inpatient Discharge measure is identified through administrative claims for inpatient discharges. Managed care plans that are not the primary payer for inpatient care, which is usually covered under a medical benefit, do not routinely have reliable access to administrative claims for inpatient stays to identify individuals who are eligible to be counted in the measure denominator. Therefore, the eligible population for this measure is restricted to individuals who receive both medical and LTSS benefits through the managed care plan providing MLTSS.

FAQ ID:89246

What if my state wishes to require Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) plans that are not providing medical care to report the LTSS Reassessment/Care Plan Update after Inpatient Discharge measure?

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 MLTSS plans not providing medical benefits report this measure. For example, because the timely transfer of information between hospitals and MLTSS plans is key to ensuring smooth transfers between settings of care, MLTSS plans may have access to hospital discharge data through state or regional health information exchanges. In some cases, MLTSS plans are working closely with hospitals to share timely information about admissions and discharges. In addition, some states have the data and capacity to construct this measure for MLTSS plans using Medicare claims data for Medicare- Medicaid dual eligible beneficiaries (see more information about state access to Medicare claims data).

FAQ ID:89251

If, after discharge from an inpatient facility, the member has not had a change in condition or needs, is a new comprehensive assessment and care plan required?

A reassessment with the member after they have been discharged from an inpatient facility is required to determine whether a member has had a change (or no change) in their LTSS needs. Even if the reassessment conducted post-discharge finds no change in a member’s LTSS needs, the second rate for this measure (Reassessment and Care Plan Update after Inpatient Discharge), Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) plan care managers should conduct a care plan update and document that they considered each of the nine core elements of the care plan, and determined that the plan of care for each element remains the same; documentation of “no changes” in the care plan as a whole does not meet the numerator criteria.

FAQ ID:89256

Please clarify that state flexibility to reimburse in the aggregate extends to reimbursement rates for I/T/U pharmacies and FSS drugs, and that states can establish rates that are based on a variety of data sources, which may include FSS prices, national and State price surveys, AMP data, and other price benchmarks.

The new AAC requirements were designed to more accurately reflect the pharmacy providers' actual prices paid to acquire drugs and the professional services required to fill a prescription. We agree that each state is able to establish rates that satisfy (or are consistent with) AAC and may be based on a variety of data sources, which may include FSS prices, and other pricing benchmarks.

FAQ ID:95111

If a state can prove that they are under the aggregate limits of AAC and PDF and have strong participation by pharmacies, are they required to adopt the AAC and PDF reimbursement methodology at the individual claim level?

All states are required to adopt the AAC and professional dispensing fee methodology; however, it is not required to be adopted at the individual claim level, but in the aggregate. In accordance with the regulatory requirements at 42 CFR 447.512(b), the state is responsible for establishing a payment methodology, that must not exceed, in the aggregate, payment levels that the agency has determined by applying the lower of the AAC plus a professional dispensing fee or the providers' usual and customary charges to the general public. In conjunction with this the state is also responsible to ensure that pharmacy reimbursement is consistent

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with the requirements of section 1902(a)(30)(A) of the Act, which specify that provider reimbursement rates should be consistent with efficiency, economy, and quality of care while assuring sufficient beneficiary access.

FAQ ID:94691

If a state is already using actual acquisition cost (AAC) as their reimbursement methodology, does the state need to file a State Plan Amendment (SPA) or provide assurances that the current formula meets requirements established in the final rule? Is there a requirement for such states to file a SPA to provide assurance that the state's current dispensing fee amount meets the requirements of the final rule?

If a state is already making payment for prescription drugs under its state plan based on AAC, it may continue to use that methodology. However, if a state decides to change its AAC model of reimbursement, (e.g., the state decides to use the National Average Drug Acquisition Cost (NADAC) instead of a state survey to implement a payment methodology based on AAC), the state must submit a new SPA through the formal SPA process for review.

Additionally, the state should review its currently approved professional dispensing fee (PDF) to determine if, in light of the regulation (42 CFR 447.518), the PDF needs to be revised and a SPA needs to be submitted. The state does not have to submit a new SPA to provide assurance that its dispensing fee is reasonable.

Furthermore, we expect that all states, even those currently operating under an AAC reimbursement methodology, will evaluate their current state plans to determine if a SPA will be required to comply with the reimbursement requirements (including, but not limited to, AAC, PDF, 340B and the federal upper limits (FULs)).

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FAQ ID:94671

Will there be an annual review of PDFs that are required as part of SPA approvals?

No, CMS will not perform an annual review of PDFs; however, states must consider both the ingredient cost reimbursement and the PDF reimbursement when proposing changes to ensure that total reimbursement to the pharmacy provider is calculated in accordance with requirements of section 1902(a)(30)(A) of the Act.

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FAQ ID:94676

Will CMS be providing guidance to states to ensure that states include reasonable components in their cost of dispensing survey?

To the extent that a state is conducting a cost of dispensing survey, it should be a transparent, comprehensive, and well-designed tool that addresses a pharmacy provider's cost to dispense the drug product to a Medicaid beneficiary. States have the flexibility to set PDFs, including using national or regional data from another state and we do not require that a state use a specific standard or methodology such as a survey to do so.

Further, states are not required to use a specific formula or methodology such as a cost study or use an inflation update where cost studies are not conducted; however, the burden is on each state to ensure that pharmacy providers are reimbursed in accordance with the requirements in section 1902(a)(30)(A) of the Act. CMS will review each SPA submission against these standards (see 81 FR 5311).

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FAQ ID:94681

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