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.
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.
Must the completion of a Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) comprehensive care plan take place in the home?
No, for the LTSS Comprehensive Care Plan and Update measure, the care plan does not have to take place in the member’s home. However, it must be done face-to-face unless certain exceptions are met. These exceptions include circumstances in which:
- The member was offered a face-to-face discussion and refused (either refused a face-to-face encounter or requested a telephone discussion instead of a face-to-face discussion).
- The state policy, regulation, or other state guidance excludes the member from a requirement for face-to-face discussion of a care plan.
What if there are multiple Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) LTSS Comprehensive Care Plan and Update care plans documented during the measurement period?
Use the most recently updated care plan.
How should a Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) member's refusal to sign an LTSS Comprehensive Care Plan and Update plan be documented?
To meet the LTSS Comprehensive Care Plan and Update measure numerator, the care plan must be signed by the member, unless the care plan is under appeal in the specified timeframe, and there is documentation that the care plan was in appeal. There is an exclusion for members who refuse to take part in care planning. This exclusion is reported with the measure rate, so the overall measure rate can be interpreted correctly. For example, a plan that is not successful at engaging members in care planning, indicated by a high exclusion rate, would suggest the overall rate on the measure should be interpreted with caution.
What if a Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) member could not be reached for the LTSS Comprehensive Care Plan and Update?
There must be documentation that at least three attempts were made to reach the member, and they could not be reached. The rate of exclusion due to inability to reach a member should also be reported along with the measure performance rate.
What if a Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) member either does not have a caregiver involved or does not want their caregiver involved in the LTSS Comprehensive Care Plan and Update? What if a member's caregiver declines to participate in care planning?
In these circumstances, MLTSS plan records should clearly document that no caregiver was involved to satisfy the measure criteria. For example, there are situations in which it may not be appropriate to engage the caregiver, including cases in which the member refused to involve the caregiver, or the invited caregiver declined to participate. Reasons for lack of caregiver involvement are not required; documentation that a caregiver was not involved suffices.
If no deficit is identified for one of the core elements required for the care plan (for example, functional needs), what should the care plan contain?
For certain elements of the care plan, documentation of no deficit suffices to receive credit for the elements (for example, functional needs, medical needs, cognitive impairment needs). Other elements in the core and supplemental rates of the Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) LTSS Comprehensive Care Plan and Update measure require documentation regardless of whether a deficit is identified (for example, individualized member goal, plan for follow-up and communication, plan for emergency). Refer to the details in the measure specification to identify where documentation of no deficit meets the element definition.
Must a Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) member have a documented care plan to be eligible for the LTSS Shared Care Plan with Primary Care Practitioner (PCP) measure?
Yes, the denominator for this measure includes all MLTSS members with a care plan meeting the criteria outlined in the LTSS Comprehensive Care Plan and Update measure core rate.
Who is considered a primary care practitioner (PCP) for the purpose of calculating the LTSS Shared Care Plan with Primary Care Practitioner (PCP) measure?
A PCP is a physician, non-physician (for example, nurse practitioner, physician assistant), or group of providers who offers primary care medical services. However, a care plan can be shared with a medical care practitioner other than the PCP if the practitioner is identified by the member as the primary point of contact for their medical care. Therefore, any medical care practitioner identified by the member as the primary point of contact for their medical care is considered their PCP for the purpose of calculating the measure.