Federal Medicaid Officials Give Tenn. Two-Month Waiver While Talks Continue On Funding
The sticking point is federal funding for hospitals that have high levels of uncompensated care. Federal officials want to discontinue that funding and say states can overcome that problem by expanding their Medicaid programs.
CMS Renews Tennessee's Medicaid Waiver On The Day It Expired
The CMS granted Tennessee a two-month temporary extension on a Medicaid managed-care waiver that expired Thursday. TennCare, the state's managed-care Medicaid system, was authorized in 2002 under an 1115 waiver. TennCare members mostly are low-income pregnant women, children and individuals who are elderly or have a disability. ... The CMS' has increasingly resisted paying for healthcare for the uninsured now that most of them have access to coverage under the Affordable Care Act. That issue has been a hurdle in renewing 115 waivers in other states, including California, Texas and Florida. California, Florida, Tennessee and Texas have relied on the waiver's pools of money that pay for the hospital stays of patients who can't afford it. (Dickson, 6/30)
Feds Expected To Extend TennCare Talks
State and federal officials are concurrently negotiating the future of uncompensated care pools, which help hospitals offset costs. An extension of negotiations has been expected, observers said. ... Uncompensated care pools have come under review by federal officials over the last year because more people were supposed to be covered under expanded Medicaid programs using federal funds under the Affordable Care Act. Insure Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam's coverage plan using federal Medicaid funding, failed in the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions. (Fletcher, 6/30)
Beth Harwell Task Force Pitches TennCare Expansion Plan
TennCare would be expanded via a phase-in program that places priority on veterans and people with mental health or substance abuse disorders under a proposal from the health care task force commissioned by House Speaker Beth Harwell. The proposal from the 3-Star Healthy Task Force outlines a two-step program that encourages people to develop relationships with physicians, get behavioral health treatment in tandem with physical health treatment and includes a work and education component to help people into positions lucrative enough to finance commercial coverage. (Fletcher and Evert, 6/30)