States considering implementing Medicaid block grant systems will have to wait at least a little longer for federal guidance on the policies.
Proposed guidance on block grants and per capita cap programs was withdrawn by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Friday after being taken under consideration by the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Under block grant systems, states would receive a fixed amount of Medicaid funding and could mean limited funding for providers, who almost universally oppose them. The proposed guidance would have cleared the way for states to obtain a federal waiver allowing them to cap federal funding for their Medicaid programs, Bloomberg Law reported.
The move comes on the heels of CMS Administrator Seema Verma’s announcing that the agency would be providing guidance to states considering Medicaid block grants and per capita cap programs last week.
“We are encouraged by this interest (in block grant and per capita cap proposals). You will soon see guidance from us that lays out initial opportunities to test new approaches to delivering and financing care for certain optional adult populations,” Verma said.
CMS didn’t provide any details on why the proposal was withdrawn but said Verma’s comments were still accurate, the report stated.
Verma’s comments also hinted that providers would have faced more scrutiny under the guidance. She stated that the Medicaid Value and Accountability Demonstration won’t compromise important beneficiary protections, but instead “will inject rigorous accountability for outcomes, provide significant and unprecedented flexibilities for program operation, and offer opportunities for shared savings that can be reinvested back into Medicaid.”
Tennessee officials — which released a first-of-its-kind proposal to convert its Medicaid program into a block grant system — are expected to submit a final draft of the proposal to the federal government this month. If finalized, it would make Tennessee the first state in the nation to receive its Medicaid funding this way.