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.
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.
What is the Precertification Pilot?
The Precertification Pilot was an experiment conducted from October 2017-March 2018 designed to streamline certification and attract new vendors. Unfortunately, the pilot was found to be unscalable across Medicaid. However, key learnings from the pilot will be incorporated into current processes and future experiments around vendor engagement, certification, scalability, and sustainability. The goals the Centers from Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) identified at the beginning of the Precertification Pilot process remain the same: reduce the level of effort of certification; shorten the certification timeline; promote modularity and interoperability; reduce risk of system failure; and attract new vendors to the Medicaid IT market. Contact CMS with your ideas for experiments to achieve those goals at MES@cms.hhs.gov.
Are states only required to conduct Upper Payment Limit (UPL) demonstrations for services with approved state plan supplemental payment methodologies?
No, an upper payment limit demonstration considers all Medicaid payments (base and supplemental). States must conduct UPL demonstrations for the applicable services described in State Medicaid Director Letter (SMDL) 13-003 regardless of whether a state makes supplemental payments under the Medicaid state plan for the services.
How and when should the Medicaid hospital tax/provider assessment be included in the inpatient hospital template?
The cost of the tax should be reported in Variable 401 - MCD Provider Tax Cost. A state may separately report the Medicaid portion of the cost of a provider assessment/tax only when it is using a cost based methodology to calculate the UPL. A state may not include this cost when calculating a DRG or Payment based UPL demonstration.
Is IV&V required during operations and maintenance (O&M) for MMIS?
As contained in the MECT standard RFP/contract language required by CMS, CMS does not cover activities that the state may require of the IV&V contractor during ongoing O&M. However, as Medicaid is moving away from monolithic single applications, it is expected that states will continuously update and replace modules in their enterprise. Therefore, IV&V should always have a role to ensure successful integration and testing.
What would preclude a company from being eligible to bid on the MMIS or E&E IV&V contract(s)?
If an organization is performing another role (such as systems integrator, PMO, quality assurance, etc.) on the MMIS or E&E project, it may not perform the IV&V function on the same project. A state may contract the same vendor to perform the IV&V role for both its E&E and MMIS projects.
Why does the IV&V contractor need to sit outside the Medicaid agency?
To reduce potential conflict of interest, CMS is ensuring that states are arranging IV&V services through contracts that should be owned outside of the agency that owns the MMIS or E&E project. The oversight organization for the IV&V contractor should not be involved in oversight of the development effort, a stakeholder in the business implementation, or the DDI contractor. The IV&V contract monitor should be aware of system development problem solving, reporting, and contractor management. This contract oversight provides true independence between the IV&V contractor and system development teams. This requirement is consistent with other HHS agencies' practices and industry best practices.
If a state is reusing an MMIS system or module already certified in another state do they need to go through certification review and decision?
CMS encourages states to reuse modular solutions as much as possible. If a state can reuse a modular solution from another state with minimal changes or customization, CMS will work with the state to streamline the certification process as much as possible to leverage knowledge of the reused solution. However, CMS will still require a certification decision for each state implementation of reused solutions to ensure compliance with federal regulations.
Which of the checklist paths (MITA, Module, Custom) described in the MECT are best for a state implementing a services-type solution?
All the criteria in the checklists (MITA, MMIS or Custom) are the same. The difference between checklists is the criteria organization within the checklists. If the services solution is innovative, unique, or an unconventional approach, then the custom checklist approach might be appropriate. The RO will work with the state and vendors to decide which checklist set is best suited for the state's certification. Both service and traditional-type solutions need to meet all certification criteria to ensure compliance with federal regulations.
If the state conducts a staged rollout for implementing new MMIS Medicaid modules, will CMS pay for the overlapping costs?
Yes, CMS will support the costs for this kind of MMIS transition. We encourage states to ensure that both the current vendor's and new solutions provider's contracts account for this transition period and address a prorating of cost during this time. States should minimize the costs of transition by performing due diligence on the anticipated spending. The legacy system provider should be compensated for its role in ensuring a smooth transition, with a ramp-down of other operational costs. The new solutions provider should have deliverables in its contract that speak to the soft launch or phased launch approach, with an uptick in operational costs as the transition progresses.