CMS unveils new Data Quality Atlas Tool for researchers

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid released a new public online tool called the “Data Quality (DQ) Atlas” allowing individuals to review the quality and usability of Transformed Medicaid Statistical Information System (T-MSIS) Research Identifiable Files (RIF) and determine if the data can meet research needs.   The DQ Atlas builds on the goals of the T-MSIS initiative to improve user understanding of Medicaid and CHIP data and its quality. 

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Trump Administration Continues to Keep Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs Low for Seniors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 29, 2020 Contact: CMS Media Relations (202) 690-6145 | CMS Media Inquiries Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the average basic premium for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, which cover prescription drugs that beneficiaries pick up at a pharmacy. For the first time seniors that use insulin will be able to choose a prescription drug plan in their area that offers a broad set of insulins for no more than $35 per month per prescription.

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CMS Updates Data on COVID-19 Impacts on Medicare Beneficiaries

July 28, 2020 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today released its first monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population. For the first time, the snapshot includes data for American Indian/Alaskan Native Medicare beneficiaries. The new data indicate that American Indian/Alaskan Native beneficiaries have the second highest rate of hospitalization for COVID-19 among racial/ethnic groups after Blacks.

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Trump Administration Announces New Resources to Protect Nursing Home Residents Against COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 22, 2020 Contact: CMS Media Relations (202) 690-6145 | CMS Media Inquiries Trump Administration Announces New Resources to Protect Nursing Home Residents Against COVID-19 President Trump today announced several new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) initiatives designed to protect nursing home residents from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). “From the moment the threat of this virus materialized, the Trump Administration has placed a priority on protecting nursing home residents,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

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Home and Community-Based Settings Regulation – Implementation Timeline Extension and Revised Frequently Asked Questions State Medicaid Director Letter

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance to state Medicaid agencies informing them that the agency will be extending the deadline for ensuring compliance with the Home and Community-Based Settings Regulation, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. CMS recognizes that states have faced significant challenges and delays in their implementation activities, and that service provision and community integration approaches have been disrupted.

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CMS Directs Additional Resources to Nursing Homes in COVID-19 Hotspot Areas

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the agency’s targeted approach to provide additional resources to nursing homes in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hotspot areas.  Specifically, CMS plans to deploy Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) across the country to provide immediate assistance to nursing homes in the hotspot areas as identified by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

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CMS Issues Clarifications on How to Obtain Additional Coverage during the Pandemic

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to clarify instructions on authorized Medicare coverage waivers and modifications due to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) through a Medicare Learning Network (MLN) publication.[1] In a CMA Alert last month, the Center for Medicare Advocacy presented a case study that described the circumstances under which a beneficiary may qualify for an additional 100 days of coverage in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) due to the PHE.[2] CMS has recently confirmed that “beneficiaries who do not themselves have a COVID-19 diagnosis may nevertheless be affected by the PHE.”[3] CMS clarified that if “the beneficiary is receiving the very same course of treatment as if the emergency had never occurred”, the beneficiary would not qualify for additional SNF days.[4] However, the qualification states that a “determination basically involves comparing the course of treatment that the beneficiary has actually received to what would have been furnished absent the emergency.

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CMS Proposes Medicare Payment Changes to Support Innovation and Increased Access for Dialysis in the Home Setting

Rule proposes improved process to pay for innovative dialysis equipment and support home dialysis for Medicare’s most vulnerable population Today, the Trump Administration took dramatic steps to support access to home dialysis through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed changes to the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS). Building on President Trump’s Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health, CMS is proposing that certain new and innovative equipment and supplies used for dialysis treatment of patients with ESRD in the home would qualify for an additional Medicare payment.

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CMS publishes 2020-2021 Medicaid Managed Care Rate Development Guide

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2020-2021 Medicaid Managed Care Rate Development Guide for use by states in setting their capitation rates between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 for managed care programs subject to the actuarial soundness requirements. This guide includes information that states must include in their rate certifications to ensure that CMS can determine compliance with the applicable provisions in federal statute.

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Additional Medicaid & CHIP COVID-19 FAQs for State Medicaid and CHIP Agencies

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted additional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to Medicaid.gov, to aid state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies in their response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The new FAQs cover a variety of Medicaid and CHIP topics, including: Eligibility and Enrollment;Notice and Fair Hearings;Optional COVID-Testing Group FAQs;Premiums and Cost Sharing;Benefits;Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT);Information Technology; andFinancing These new FAQs have been integrated into the previously released COVID-19 FAQ document, as we have done with prior updates.

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