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
When a facility has been in operation for the dates of service covered by the Upper Payment Limit (UPL) demonstration, can a state demonstrate the UPL by using less than 12 months of data?
In accordance with Medicare cost reporting, the state must use 12 months of cost data reported by each facility. With regard to payment data, the state should use actual amounts, to the extent available, then calculate a claims completion factor based on historic utilization. The state’s UPL submission must include an explanation of its methodology to estimate payments. The use of a claims completion factor provides a reasonable estimate of the amount that Medicare would pay for these services, consistent with the UPL as defined at 42 CFR 447.272.
What data should my state provide to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the annual Upper Payment Limit demonstrations?
Effective state fiscal year 2020, each state must submit a complete data set of payments to Medicaid providers, including providers paid at cost, as well as critical access hospitals. This would require states to submit cost and payment data to CMS that previously was not requested.
Can you explain the difference between a prospective Upper Payment Limit (UPL) and a retrospective UPL?
The difference between a prospective and retrospective UPL is in the relationship between the UPL demonstration period and the date when the UPL is submitted. For a UPL demonstration period of 7/1/2018 to 6/30/2019, a UPL is considered retrospective when it is submitted on or after the start of the demonstration period (on or after 7/1/2018). Using the same UPL demonstration period (7/1/2018 to 6/30/2019), a UPL is considered prospective if it is submitted prior to 7/1/2018.
Does CMS require states to submit their 2019 Upper Payment Limit (UPL) demonstrations using the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved templates for Inpatient Hospital services (IPH), Outpatient Hospital services (OPH), and Nursing Facility services (NF) UPLs?
Yes, CMS requires states to use all of the OMB approved templates for their 2019 (07/01/2018 to 06/30/2019) UPL demonstrations submitted to meet the annual UPL reporting requirement and with State Plan Amendment (SPA) submissions. When submitting UPL demonstrations, use the following naming convention: UPL_<UPL Demo Date Range>_<Service Type Abbreviation>_R<Region Number>_<State Abbreviation>_<Workbook Number>.xls. Here is an example of the naming convention: UPL_20170701-20180630_IP_R01_CT_01.xls.
When a state pays at or less than the Medicare rate is it required to submit an Upper Payment Limit (UPL) demonstration using the template(s)?
No, if a state's payment methodology describes payment at no more than 100 percent of the Medicare rate for the period covered by the UPL then it does not need to submit a demonstration using the template(s). To show the state has met the annual UPL demonstration reporting requirement it should make CMS aware that it is paying no more than the Medicare rate.
If a state's inpatient hospital, outpatient hospital, or nursing facility Upper Payment Limit (UPL) demonstration has been approved by CMS for demonstration year 2018, does the UPL template still need to be populated and submitted for 2018?
No, states that already have submitted their 2018 (07/01/2017 - 06/30/2018) inpatient hospital, outpatient hospital, or nursing facility services UPL demonstrations will not have to resubmit using the templates. In that instance, CMS will populate the templates using data already submitted by the state.
Can a state use an Upper Payment Limit (UPL) demonstration that was submitted within the fiscal year for purposes of demonstrating that a State Plan Amendment (SPA) change complies with the regulations in order to meet the State Medicaid Director Letter (SMDL) requirements?
Yes, a demonstration submitted within the fiscal year that is used to document that SPA methodology changes comply with the UPL requirements may be used to satisfy the SMDL requirements as long as no subsequent changes are made to the state's provider payment methodology prior to the state's annual submission and CMS has reviewed and accepted the demonstration.
Are there any circumstances that would allow a state to apply the same Upper Payment Limit (UPL) demonstration to multiple years?
When the data that factors into the state's UPL demonstration has not changed from one year to the next, then the state could apply the same overall UPL demonstration to the following year. The state must submit a justification to support the application of a previous year's UPL demonstration to another year.
Should the period of time covered by the Upper Payment Limit (UPL) demonstration be tied to the state's fiscal year?
No, CMS does not require any particular starting point within the fiscal year for the UPL demonstrations. This allows states the flexibility to develop UPL demonstrations that are tied to the provider payment periods described in the state plan payment methodologies for each service. For instance, if a state submits a state plan amendment to update provider payments as of October 1 of each year, the state would document that the SPA changes comply with the UPL for the period 10/1 - 9/30 of that payment year. The UPL must represent the entire payment year. Since UPL demonstrations usually rely on historic data that is projected into a payment year, this is consistent with past practices.
How is the demonstration year defined? For example, if a state has a fiscal year starting on July 1, 2016 and ending on June 30, 2017, is the Upper Payment Limit (UPL) demonstration entered with the SFY 2016/17 State Plan Amendment considered to be a "2016 demonstration" or a "2017 demonstration"?
The UPL demonstration year is defined according to the last year encompassed by the demonstration. For example, a UPL covering the period 07/01/2016 to 06/30/2017 is defined as the 2017 UPL.