CMS Approves Medicaid Waiver Requiring “Community Engagement”

Posted by Mark Gallant on January 25, 2018
CMS, Medicaid / No Comments

Medicaid, health concept. Stethoscope, syringe and pills on grey backgroundAs a first in the history of the Medicaid program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved, on January 12, 2018, Kentucky’s section 1115 waiver application that imposes on many beneficiaries a “community engagement” requirement as a condition of Medicaid eligibility.  This is commonly referred to as a “work” requirement, given that it can be satisfied through employment.  The prior administration had rejected similar work requirements proposed under an Arkansas waiver requirement as falling outside the boundaries of the Secretary’s statutory authority under Title XIX of the Social Security Act to provide “medical assistance” to designated indigent populations.

The following are some takeaways from the Kentucky HEALTH approved demonstration project.

What must affected beneficiaries do?  Beneficiaries subject to the requirement must demonstrate completion of 80 hours (each month) of community engagement activities.  Otherwise, they will lose Medicaid coverage.  Beneficiaries can fulfill the requirement through a combination of employment, education, job skills training, or community service. Continue reading…

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CMS Waives Medicaid Retroactive Eligibility for Iowa: Is Your State Next?

Posted by Mark Gallant on December 01, 2017
Medicaid / No Comments

Medicaid, health concept. Stethoscope, syringe and pills on grey backgroundSince 1973, the Social Security Act has mandated that states provide retroactive Medicaid benefits for three months prior to the individual’s application.  SSA § 1902(a)(34).  Congress enacted this provision to provide coverage to those lacking knowledge about their Medicaid eligibility and to those whose sudden illness prevented them from applying.  Senate Report No. 92-1230, at 209 (Sept. 26, 1972).  Providers benefit from retroactive eligibility through the ability to enroll uninsured patients in Medicaid retroactively, including after discharge, to avoid uncompensated care costs.

Seeking to trim Medicaid expenditures, Iowa’s Governor this year signed a law requiring the State to seek a CMS waiver from the retroactive eligibility requirement.  When the State agency asked the public for comments on its waiver proposal, only one commenter expressed support.  The vast majority expressed concern that many patients—especially trauma patients who might lack the ability to promptly file Medicaid applications—would face new coverage gaps.  The State itself projected that the waiver would shed 3,000 members (monthly) and would slash Medicaid expenditures by $36.8 million (annually).  Providers unsurprisingly voiced concern that the waiver would increase uncompensated care costs. Continue reading…

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Special (Limited) CMS Offer to Settle Claims on Appeal

Posted by Mark Gallant on September 03, 2014
CMS, Medicare, OMHA / No Comments

With little fanfare just before the Labor Day weekend, CMS announced a program in which it would enter into administrative agreements with eligible providers in exchange for the providers’ withdrawal of pending appeals (“Settlement Process”). This announcement follows massive backlogs in administrative appeals resulting from retroactive denials of inpatient claims by Medicare contractors, including recovery auditor contractors (“RAC”), as well as a lawsuit brought by the American Hospital Association challenging these delays. Under the Settlement Process, CMS is willing to pay “68% of the net allowable amount” for eligible claims within 60 days. According to CMS, eligible providers should submit requests to participate in the Settlement Process by October 31, 2014, and eligible providers may file for an extension of time to request a settlement if they are unable submit requests by the end of October. Although this Settlement Process holds promise for certain providers, it does not apply to all providers or all claims.

Eligible Providers

Only acute care hospitals and critical access hospitals may participate in the Settlement Process. The following providers are not eligible to participate:

  • Cancer hospitals;
  • Children’s hospitals;
  • Inpatient rehabilitation facilities;
  • Long-term care hospitals; and
  • Psychiatric hospitals that are paid under the inpatient psychiatric facility prospective payment system.

CMS may exclude eligible providers from participating in this Settlement Process if they are subject to pending False Claims Act litigation or investigations.

Eligible Claims

Only the following claims are eligible:

  • Claims for dates of admissions prior to October 1, 2013;
  • Claims for patients that were not Medicare Part C enrollees; and
  • Claims that are pending appeals of inpatient-status claim denials, which were rejected by Medicare contractors, including RACs.

An eligible provider may select the eligible claims it would like to settle, while continuing to appeal certain other claims.

For more information regarding the Settlement Process, please contact Mark Gallant, Chris Raphaely, or Ryan Blaney.

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