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
Both the State Medicaid Director Letter describing the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) section 1115 demonstration opportunity and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) SUD Implementation Plan template, reference needs assessment tools and program standards established by the American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Is a state required to reference or rely on the ASAM Criteria in implementing an SUD section 1115 demonstration?
No, a state is not required to reference or rely on the ASAM Criteria however, states should use guidelines/patient placement tools that are comparable to ASAM criteria. The State Medicaid Director Letter describing the SUD section 1115 demonstration opportunity references the ASAM Criteria as a recognized standard and an example of a patient placement assessment tool that states could use. Participating states are expected to ensure that providers use an SUD-specific, multi-dimensional assessment tool in determining the types of treatments and level of care a beneficiary with an SUD may need. The ASAM Criteria is referenced as a representative example of such an assessment tool.
Some states proposed alternative needs assessment tools. CMS reviews each alternative proposal on an individual basis, and CMS has so far determined that those alternatives are comparable to the ASAM Criteria and meet the expectations for this demonstration initiative. In addition, participating states are expected to implement provider qualifications for residential treatment providers that reflect well-established standards for these treatment settings. Again, the ASAM Criteria is referenced as an example of a resource that states may use for determining those standards.
When a state pays a provider at reconciled cost using Certified Public Expenditures during the period covered by the Upper Payment Limit (UPL) demonstration, how should the provider's data be treated?
The UPL limits payment to the Medicare rate or cost. Providers paid at reconciled cost may receive no more than their reconciled amount. As a result, states cannot attribute the “UPL room” from other providers to pay additional amounts to any provider paid at reconciled cost. Due to this payment limitation, states should not include any provider paid at reconciled cost in their UPL demonstrations; however, they must account for these providers. Specifically, states must include with their UPL submissions documentation of those providers paid at reconciled cost and confirm by provider use of either a Medicare cost report or Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-approved cost report template to identify allowed cost. Further, states must document the ownership status (state owned, non-state government owned, or private) of each provider.
Our state included dental services along with physician (non-dental) services in our state's Upper Payment Limit (UPL) demonstration of the practitioner Average Commercial Rate (ACR) using the Medicare Equivalent of the ACR. Should we keep both services together in one demonstration or should we separate the services out for two different ACR demonstrations?
Dental services are not covered under Medicare, which means the state may not compare Medicaid rates for comparable dental services for the Medicare Equivalent of the ACR. The state may calculate a dental ACR in order to make supplemental payments to dental services providers and continue to calculate the Medicare Equivalent of the ACR for other services covered by Medicare. The state should submit two separate ACR demonstrations, one for dental services and one for physician (non-dental) services. This will involve completing two versions of the Office of Management and Budget-approved template. If the same provider provides both physician and dental services the state would differentiate the provider information between the two demonstrations by appending the Medicare Certification Number (Medicare ID) (variable 112) with a letter, such as an -A or a -B. For example, if the Medicare ID was 123456, it would be depicted in the physician ACR as 123456-A and in the dental ACR as 12345-B. If a Medicare Certification Number is not available then the state should append the Medicaid Provider Number.
Can states that pay for inpatient hospital services using Diagnosis Related Grous (DRGs), but historically used a cost-based UPL, continue to use the cost-based Upper Payment Limit (UPL) method?
Yes, states may use UPL methodologies that are different from their payment methodologies. For example, a state may pay for inpatient hospital services using a Medicaid APR-DRG methodology, but use a cost methodology to compute the Medicare upper payment limit for its UPL demonstration.
How should cost data reported for a partial year be treated either when one hospital acquires another hospital or a hospital ceases operation?
When a hospital acquires another hospital, the state should use all available data to determine the UPL and work with CMS to assure appropriate reporting. When a hospital ceases operation, the state should not annualize data if it does not cover a 12-month period.
When a state pays a provider at cost during the period covered by the Upper Payment Limit (UPL) demonstration, how should the provider's data be treated?
The UPL limits payment to the Medicare rate or cost. Providers paid at cost may receive no more than their reconciled amount. As a result, states cannot attribute the "UPL room" from other providers to pay additional amounts to any provider paid at cost. Due to this payment limitation, states should not include any provider paid at cost in their UPL demonstrations; however, they must account for these providers. Specifically, states must include with their UPL submissions documentation of those providers paid at cost and, therefore, excluded from the calculation of the UPL.
Can the Outpatient Hospital (OPH) Services Upper Payment Limit (UPL) demonstration consider Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory (CDL) services?
Section 1903(i)(7) of the Social Security Act specifies a separate UPL for CDL services which limits payment to no more than the Medicare rate on a per test basis. To meet the statutory provision, the UPL for CDL services must be separately demonstrated from the OPH services UPL. States do not have the ability to "borrow room" from the CDL UPL and apply it to the OPH UPL.
May a state use all-payer data or the Medicare-specific data from the Medicare Hospital Cost Report (CMS Form 2552) to calculate the cost-to-charge ratios?
Yes, a state may choose between using all-payer data or Medicare-specific data from the Medicare Hospital Cost Report (CMS Form 2552) to determine the cost-to-charge ratios.
Can CMS provide a list of the revenue codes that are approved to be included in the outpatient hospital Upper Payment Limit (UPL) or conversely the revenue codes that cannot be included?
To date, CMS has not published a list of revenue codes that must be included or excluded from this service category. Medicaid outpatient hospital services are defined at 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 440.20 and include “preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, rehabilitative, or palliative services”. In the state plan, states further define those services covered as outpatient hospital services.
How is the Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) Upper Payment Limit (UPL) different from other institutional UPLs?
Unlike the UPLs for other Medicaid institutional payments, which rely on an aggregate approach by ownership category (private, state owned, non state government owned) to ensure Medicaid payments are consistent with efficiency and economy, the PRTF UPL is calculated for each facility. Specifically, the UPL relies on 42 CFR 447.325 which states that Medicaid agencies “may pay the customary charges of the provider but must not pay more than the prevailing charges in the locality for comparable services under comparable circumstances." The plain language meaning of this requirement is that a state may pay a PRTF no more than it charges for covered Medicaid services provided to Medicaid recipients.