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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

Showing 1 to 10 of 35 results

Where can I find an application to apply for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP)?

The Medicare Savings Program (MSP) Model application can be found here: Medicare Savings Programs (MSP) Model Application for Medicare Premium Assistance

FAQ ID:95161

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

Does a health plan's submission of information from its full eligibility file, for the purpose of matching that information to the Medicaid eligibility file, violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) privacy rules?

State laws determine what information is required of the health plans. A health plan's disclosure and use of information that is required to be submitted under state law - such as, information from insurer eligibility files sufficient to determine during what period any individual may be, or have been, covered by a health insurer and the nature of the coverage that is or was provided by the health insurer — is consistent with the HIPAA privacy provisions.

Under HIPAA, both the state Medicaid agency and most health insurers are covered entities and must comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule in 45 CFR Part 160 and Part 164, Subparts A and E. In their capacities as covered entities under HIPAA, the state Medicaid agency and health insurers are restricted from using and disclosing protected health information (PHI), as that term is defined in 45 CFR section 160.103, other than as permitted or required by the HIPAA Privacy Rule. However, as relevant here:

  1. A covered entity may use or disclose PHI to the extent that such use or disclosure is required by law and the use or disclosure complies with and is limited to the relevant requirements of the law. (45 CFR 164.512(a)(1)) Under this provision, each covered entity must be limited to disclosing or using only the PHI necessary to meet the requirements of the law that compels the use or disclosure. Anything required to be disclosed by a law can be disclosed without violating HIPAA under the "required by law" provisions. Therefore, health insurers may disclose data elements in addition to the four minimum data elements, up to and including submission of an entire insurer eligibility file, to the extent such information is required to be submitted by state law. (45 CFR 164.512(a))
  2. Separately, a covered entity may use or disclose PHI, without the consent of an individual, for payment activities, including to facilitate payment. (45 CFR 164.502(a)(1) and 164.506) Under HIPAA, the term payment includes activities undertaken by a health plan to determine or fulfill its responsibility for coverage and provision of benefits under the health plan. These activities include determinations of eligibility or coverage, adjudication or subrogation of health benefits claims, and collection activities. (45 CFR 164.501) To the extent plans are releasing this information to the Medicaid program for payment purposes; this is a separate basis for disclosure under HIPAA.
  3. The HIPAA Privacy Rule generally requires covered entities to take reasonable steps to limit the use and disclosure of PHI to the minimum necessary to accomplish the intended purpose. (45 CFR 164.502(b)(1)) However, among other limited exceptions, the minimum necessary requirements do not apply to uses or disclosures that are required by law under 45 CFR 164.512(a).

Supplemental Links:

FAQ ID:91216

May state Medicaid agencies request information on subscribers and dependents covered in other states?

Yes. There is a significant amount of third party coverage derived from health plans licensed in a different state than where the Medicaid beneficiary resides. This can commonly happen when the policyholder works in one state and lives in another state. For example, there may be policyholders who are enrolled in Medicaid coverage in Maryland, or have dependents that are enrolled, who work in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or West Virginia and also have coverage through their employer in that state. This highlights the need for Medicaid agencies to obtain plan eligibility information from contiguous states in addition to collecting information in their respective state.

Another example is when Medicaid-eligible children are covered by the insurance plan of non-custodial parents who live in a different state than their child(ren). This example is not limited to contiguous states because non-custodial parents could reside in any state in the country. Depending on the size, it may be beneficial for the state to obtain the plan's entire eligibility file. The specific geographical areas to be included in the data exchange should be negotiated with the plans. We recommend use of a Trading Partner Agreement in the exchange of electronic data.

Finally, section 1902(a)(25)(I)(i) of the Social Security Act directs states, as a condition of receiving federal financial participation (FFP) for Medicaid, to have laws in effect that require health insurers doing business in their state to provide the state with the requisite information with respect to individuals who are eligible for, or are provided medical assistance, i.e., Medicaid beneficiaries. State law cannot reach beyond the entities that are "doing business" in their states.

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FAQ ID:91221

May state Medicaid agencies use contractors to complete data matches with health insurers?

Yes. State Medicaid programs may enter into data matching agreements directly with third parties or may obtain the services of a contractor to complete the required matches. Such arrangements should comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)'s "Business Associate" requirements, where applicable. When the state Medicaid program chooses to use a contractor to complete data matches, including matches as required by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), the program delegates its authority to obtain the desired information from third parties to the contractor.

Third parties should generally treat a request from the contractor as a request from the state Medicaid agency. Third parties may request verification from the state Medicaid agency that the contractor is working on behalf of the agency and the scope of the delegated work.

Supplemental Links:

FAQ ID:91226

Can Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) use a contractor to complete data matches with health insurers, as authorized by the state Medicaid agency?

Yes. State Medicaid programs may contract with MCOs to provide health care to Medicaid beneficiaries, and may delegate responsibility and authority to the MCOs to perform third party liability TPL discovery and recovery activities, including data matches as required by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA). The Medicaid program may authorize the MCO to use a contractor to complete these activities. The contract language between the state Medicaid agency and the MCO dictates the terms and conditions under which the MCO assumes TPL responsibility. Generally, any TPL administration and performance standards for the MCO will be set by the state and should be accompanied by state oversight.

When TPL responsibilities are delegated to an MCO, third parties are required to treat the MCO as if it were the state Medicaid agency, including:

  1. Providing access to third party eligibility and claims data to identify individuals with third party coverage;
  2. Adhering to the assignment of rights from the state to the MCO of a Medicaid beneficiary's right to payment by such insurers for health care items or services; and,
  3. Refraining from denying payment of claims submitted by the MCO for procedural reasons.

Third parties may request verification from the state Medicaid agency that the MCO or its contractor is working on behalf of the agency and the scope of the delegated work.

Supplemental Links:

FAQ ID:91231

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