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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

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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.

FAQ ID:93681

Can a state type information and data into unlocked fields in the Upper Payment Limit (UPL) templates or must the data from state-developed UPL reports/workbooks be mapped through, for example, V-Look-ups into the UPL templates?

Yes. Mapping data, through V-Look-ups, for example, is a much easier and consistent process for current and future UPL submissions. However, a state may choose to type information and data into unlocked fields in the UPL templates. When a state chooses to input data directly (not through a V-Look-up) into the template, it still must provide the supporting documentation with the source data. Additionally, the state should explain how it mapped data from the supporting documentation into the template. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services utilizes the supporting information to confirm that the information in the templates is correct.

FAQ ID:92451

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.

FAQ ID:92191

If we complete multiple inpatient templates for Diagnosis Related Groups (DRG) and per diem, should they be in the same file or separate files? Should there be a summary of all the inpatient Upper Payment Limits (UPLs) showing grand totals?

The state should complete one template each for the DRG and per diem UPL calculations and these should be placed in one file. The state should also include a summary worksheet in the same file that shows the UPL gap for each ownership category (state government owned, non-state government owned, and private). States should include all necessary supporting documentation.

FAQ ID:92276

The Inpatient Hospital Services (IPH), Outpatient Hospital Services (OPH), and Nursing Facility (NF) templates do not include fields to sum the Upper Payment Limit (UPL) gap by ownership category (private, Non-State Governmental Organization (NSGO), State Government Ownded (SGO). How should these totals be presented in the template?

The total UPL gap by ownership category can be shown by inserting a new tab in the file with these calculations, unless a summary worksheet is already included in the workbook. If there are any questions about how to add this tab, please reach out to your CMS Regional Office or send a follow-up question (with your template) to the UPL mailbox and additional guidance will be provided.

FAQ ID:92281

One of the required fields in the Nursing Facility template is the Medicare Provider Number (Medicare Certification Number - Variable 112), but not all facilities are Medicare certified. How should data be entered for these facilities since it is a required field?

When a Medicare provider number is not available, such as for some nursing facilities, the state should populate variable 112 using the acronym NMC, which stands for "Not Medicare Certified". Adding this information will help to clearly identify the facility's status.

FAQ ID:92286

How should Upper Payment Limit (UPL) supplemental payments be entered in the template?

The state should report the expected amount of supplemental payments to be made during the period covered by the UPL demonstration. Supplemental payments should be entered into variables 303.1, 303.2, and 303.3 for the Inpatient Hospital and Outpatient Hospital templates and 313.1, 313.2, and 313.3 for the Nursing Facility templates. The state should provide detail in the notes tab on the types of supplemental payments and the related dollar amount of each payment.

FAQ ID:92291

How should more than two adjustments to the per diem be addressed in the nursing facility template for both Medicare and Medicaid Per Diem?

A state may report adjustments by using the following variables: Adjustments to Medicare Per Diem #1 - Variable 212.1 and Adjustments to Medicare Per Diem #2 - Variable 212.2 for the Medicare Per Diem and Adjustment to Medicaid Per Diem #1 - Variable 314.1 and Adjustment to Medicaid Per Diem #2 - Variable 314.2 for the Medicaid Per Diem. A state may report more than one adjustment under a single variable. For example, if the state has three adjustments to their Medicaid per diem, one of these adjustments can be reported in variable 314.1 and the other two adjustments can be added together and reported in variable 314.2. When reporting any adjustment, the state must provide a detailed description of the adjustment(s) in the notes tab.

FAQ ID:92296

What are examples of what would be appropriate adjustments to the Upper Payment Limit (UPL) in step 9 (Adjustments to the UPL and UPL Gap Calculation) (field 408) of the template?

Variable 408 (Adjustment to the UPL Gap) is intended to allow states to report adjustments to their UPL gap, to the extent that these adjustments are not accounted for in other variables. Here, states could report broad-based increases or reductions in payment, such as a Medicaid volume adjustment for managed care expansion. The source of values input into variable 408 may differ by state. Whenever a state reports data in variable 408 it must include a comprehensive note describing the adjustment.

FAQ ID:92301

For our Nursing Facility (NF) Upper Payment Limit (UPL) calculation we separate Medicaid allowable costs into three categories: salaries and benefits, operating costs, and property costs. Based on previous guidance from CMS, we do not apply an inflation factor to the property costs. In looking at the template, it appears the inflation factor is applied to all costs. Is this correct?

Where inflation is not applied to property costs, please separate out this cost from the Medicare UPL by reporting these amounts in variable 402 - Adjustment to the Medicare UPL.

FAQ ID:92361

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