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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

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Where can I find the technical specifications and other materials related to Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) measures?

The technical specifications and webinar materials for these measures are available on the MLTSS page:

FAQ ID:89021

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.

FAQ ID:89026

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.

FAQ ID:89031

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.

FAQ ID:89036

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.

FAQ ID:89041

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.

FAQ ID:89046

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.

FAQ ID:89051

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.

FAQ ID:89056

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.

FAQ ID:89061

How can residential and adult day settings comply with the HCBS settings requirements while serving Medicaid beneficiaries who may wander or exit-seek unsafely?

Many Medicaid beneficiaries living with dementia and other conditions can have a heightened risk of wandering, or attempting to leave a setting (exit-seeking) unsafely. These behaviors are not necessarily constant or permanent.

Wandering occurs in ways that may appear aimless but often have purpose. People may wander simply because they want to move. Sometimes wandering responds to an unmet basic need like human contact, hunger, or thirst; a noisy or confusing environment; or because people are experiencing some type of distress, like pain or the need to use the toilet. Wandering can be helpful or dangerous, depending on the situation. Although people who wander may gain social contact, exercise, and stimulation, they can also become lost or exhausted.

Person-centered planning, staff training and care delivery are core components of provider operations to meet HCBS requirements while responding to unsafe wandering and exit-seeking behavior in an individualized manner.3 Person-centered services involve knowing individuals, and their conditions, needs, and history and using this knowledge to create strategies to assure that individuals are free to interact with others and the community in the most integrated way possible and still prevent injury for those who wander or exit-seek unsafely. Home and community-based settings must demonstrate that person-centered planning drives their operations and services for each person. The beneficiaries the settings serve must drive the person-centered planning process with assistance from a trained, competent, assessor, care manager or similar facilitator. The beneficiary should be able to get input from people who are important to him or her, while still reflecting the individual's input as much as possible. Person-centered plans and related decisions should be consistent with the person's needs and preferences, and informed by family members, caregivers, and other individuals that the beneficiary has identified as playing an important role in his or her life. The role of person-centered planning and the process for realizing this role is described in the final HCBS regulation and in guidance found on the Medicaid.gov website.

Person-centered service plans should be developed with the individual, and include their representatives as appropriate. The person-centered planning process should include a process that:

  • is informed by discussions with family members or other individuals who are important to them about key aspects of daily routines and rituals;
  • focuses on an individual's strengths and interests;
  • outlines the individual's reaction to various communication styles;
  • identifies the individual's favorite things to do and experience during the day, as well as experiences that contribute to a bad day;
  • proposes experiences that the person may enjoy as community engagement, and describes those factors or characteristics that the individuals would find most isolating or stigmatizing

To promote effective communication, which is at the core of person-centered planning and service delivery, provider staff serving beneficiaries who wander or exit-seek should receive education and training about how to communicate with individuals living with conditions that may lead to unsafe wandering or exit-seeking. Training programs may include important information on issues such as:

  • The most common types of conditions, diseases and disorders that lead to wandering behavior; the various stages of key conditions that result in increased risk of wandering and what to expect over time; and the potential impact of these conditions on the individual's ability to function.
  • Differentiating between most common types of conditions, diseases and disorders that lead to wandering behavior from serious mental illness or adverse environmental conditions such as overmedication or neglect.
  • Assessing individuals for co-occurring conditions (including barriers to sufficient adaptive skills and the ability to communicate with others) that increase risk for unsafe wandering or exit-seeking.
  • Understanding situations that led to past instances of unsafe wandering or exit-seeking or the desire to engage in them;
  • Principles of person-centered care planning and service delivery;
  • Strategies for identifying and handling behavioral expressions of need or distress.

In addition to previous guidance provided by CMS on the implementation of person-centered planning requirements outlined in the federal HCBS regulations defining home and community-based settings, integration of the following promising practices around person-centered planning specifically for people who wander or exit-seek unsafely is recommended:

  • Assessing the patterns, frequency, and triggers for unsafe wandering or exit-seeking through direct observation and by talking with the person exhibiting such behaviors, and, when appropriate, their families.
  • Using this baseline information to develop a person-centered plan to address unsafe wandering or exit-seeking, implementing the plan, and measuring its impact.
  • Using periodic assessments to update information about an individual's unsafe wandering or exit-seeking, and adjust the person-centered plan as necessary.

Supplemental Links:

FAQ ID:94926

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