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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 18 results

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

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.

FAQ ID:92446

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.

FAQ ID:92456

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.

FAQ ID:92431

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

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.

FAQ ID:92196

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.

FAQ ID:92201

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.

FAQ ID:92211

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.

FAQ ID:92216

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.

FAQ ID:92221

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