New Medicaid COVID-Related FAQs

Courtesy: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated its Medicaid COVID-19-related FAQs, which were published back in March. Because the latest version of the FAQs is quite lengthy (over 100 pages), we have highlighted some of the new FAQs as well as some older FAQs that may be of interest to Primary Care Associations (PCAs) and health centers. We included FAQs that are most likely to directly or indirectly impact Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCS) as they consider ways to collaborate with their state to protect and expand their services and activities during the pandemic. Key FAQs added in the June 30, 2020 publication that we think are particularly notable are listed below, and all FAQs relevant to FQHCs can be found HERE.

  • FAQs discussion on the difference between the funds provided to providers for COVID-19 testing and treatment services furnished to uninsured individuals through HRSA and the funds available through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to provide Medicaid coverage of COVID-19 testing services for uninsured individuals. NEW (p.3-5 of attachment)
  • CMS’ FAQs concerning interim payment arrangements to providers permissible under a state plan and the references to reconciliation in those arrangements in contrast to its new FAQ regarding temporary increases to FQHC rates through an Alternative Payment Methodology (APM), which makes no reference to a reconciliation requirement. NEW (p.5-6 of attachment)
  • Earlier CMS FAQs providing for payment of telehealth coverage for FQHC services. NEW (p.8 of attachment)
  • Ways in which states can use the Medicaid disaster relief SPA template to increase payments to providers during the pandemic and noting that they can target payment increases to certain safety net providers.
  • Allowing states to increase provider payments to recognize the higher costs of delivering care due to personal protective equipment (PPE). NEW (p.10 of attachment)
  • FAQ allowing for state-directed payments in managed care arrangements/contracts. 

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