Updates to Long-Term Care Emergency Regulatory Waivers

Last night CMS announced the ending of the following emergency regulatory waivers issued in response to COVID-19: The emergency blanket waivers related to notification of resident room or roommate changes, and transfer and discharge notification requirements.The emergency blanket waiver for certain care planning requirements for residents transferred for cohorting purposes.The emergency blanket waiver of the timeframe requirements for completing and transmitting resident assessment information (Minimum Data Set).

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CMS Updates Nursing Home Guidance with Revised Visitation Recommendations

Nursing homes have been severely impacted by COVID-19, with outbreaks causing high rates of infection, morbidity, and mortality.[1]The vulnerable nature of the nursing home population, combined with the inherent risks of congregate living in a healthcare setting, have required aggressive efforts to limit COVID-19 exposure and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within these facilities. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recognized that physical separation from family and other loved ones has taken a physical and emotional toll on residents and their families.

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Biden Administration Strengthens Requirements that Plans and Issuers Cover COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing Without Cost Sharing and Ensures Providers are Reimbursed for Administering COVID-19 Vaccines to Uninsured

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 26, 2021 Contact: CMS Media Relations CMS Media Inquiries Biden Administration Strengthens Requirements that Plans and Issuers Cover COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing Without Cost Sharing and Ensures Providers are Reimbursed for Administering COVID-19 Vaccines to Uninsured In accordance with the Executive Order President Biden signed on January 21, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), together with the Department of Labor and the Department of the Treasury, (collectively, the Departments) issued new guidance today removing barriers to COVID-19 diagnostic testing and vaccinations and strengthening requirements that plans and issuers cover diagnostic testing without cost sharing.

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CMS releases the Medicaid Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Annual Expenditures Report for FFY 2017 and 2018

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Medicaid LTSS Annual Expenditures Report for Federal Fiscal Years (FFY) 2017 and 2018. This report discusses the LTSS rebalancing trends and growth in expenditures for home and community based services (HCBS) as compared to institutional spending during these select years. Some of the highlights from this report show: Total Medicaid LTSS spending continues to increase.

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CMS releases the Medicaid Section 1915(c) Waiver Programs Annual Expenditures and Beneficiaries Report, Analysis of CMS 372 Annual Reports for 2015 through 2017

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Medicaid Section 1915(c) Waiver Programs Annual Expenditures and Beneficiaries Report, Analysis of CMS 372 Annual Reports for years 2015 through 2017. This report provides summary information from annual CMS Form 372 report submissions and focuses on trends in section 1915(c) home and community based services (HCBS) waiver program participation, service use by HCBS population, and expenditures for 2015 through 2017.

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CMS releases 2022 Medicare Advantage and Part D Rate Announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 15, 2021 Contact: CMS Media Relations (202) 690-6145 | CMS Media Inquiries CMS releases 2022 Medicare Advantage and Part D Rate Announcement Releasing Medicare Advantage and Part D payment information will help plans in light of COVID-19 Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced 2022 Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D rates three months earlier than usual providing Medicare health and prescription drug plans more time to consider this information as they prepare and finalize their bids for 2022, which are due June 7, 2021.

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CMS releases additional tools to help state Medicaid and CHIP agencies plan for the eventual return to regular operations after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ends

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released two tools to assist states and territories in their planning efforts to transition back to regular operations and resolve pending Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Basic Health Program (BHP) eligibility and enrollment actions after the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency (PHE) ends.  These tools were announced in the Planning for the Resumption of Normal State Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Basic Health Program (BHP) Operations Upon Conclusion of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency State Health Official Letter that CMS released on December 22, 2020.

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CMS released preliminary Medicaid COVID-19 increased FMAP expenditure data

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released preliminary Medicaid expenditure data that states reported to CMS through the Medicaid Budget and Expenditure System (MBES).    This information is summary level data for Medicaid service expenditures reported by states on the Form CMS-64 in MBES for the period of January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 and April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020.  The data includes a breakout of expenditures associated with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) section 6004 which provides a 100% Federal match to uninsured individuals eligible under the new “COVID-19 testing” optional Medicaid eligibility group and section 6008 which provides a temporary 6.2 percentage point increase to qualifying states and territory’s Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP).        Learn more here: Medicaid CMS-64 FFCRA Increased FMAP Expenditure Data Collected through MBES

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Changes to Medicare Advantage and Part D Will Provide Better Coverage, More Access and Improved Transparency for Medicare Beneficiaries

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 15, 2021 Contact: CMS Media Relations CMS Media Inquiries Changes to Medicare Advantage and Part D Will Provide Better Coverage, More Access and Improved Transparency for Medicare Beneficiaries Final rule continues to strengthen the popular private Medicare health and drug plans. Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that further advances the agency’s efforts to strengthen and modernize the Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug programs.

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CMS Puts Patients Over Paperwork with New Rule that Addresses the Prior Authorization Process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 15, 2021 Contact: CMS Media Relations CMS Media Inquiries CMS Puts Patients Over Paperwork with New Rule that Addresses the Prior Authorization Process Final rule gives providers access to patient treatment histories, and streamlines prior authorization to improve patient experience and alleviate burden for health care providers Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a signature accomplishment of the new Office of Burden Reduction & Health Informatics (OBRHI).

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