On Wednesday, August 22, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a State Medicaid Director Letter (SMDL) memorializing CMS policy for ensuring that Section 1115 waivers remain budget neutral to the federal government. The SMDL describes CMS policy for calculating budget neutrality both for new waivers and for extensions of existing waivers with the implications for states with existing waivers, and those seeking to apply for waivers, discussed in this expert perspective.
Considerations for State Development of Performance Measure Sets
Beth Waldman and Michael Bailit, Bailit Health Purchasing, LLC
As states play a more active role in health care delivery system and payment reform, Medicaid programs have joined other public and private sector purchasers in measuring performance as part of value-based purchasing initiatives. While essential to value-based purchasing, performance measurement can create a significant administrative burden for providers. This burden can grow significantly when individual payers (e.g., insurers, managed care plans, and third-party administrators) utilize different measures. There is a growing interest by Medicaid programs and other payers in developing common measure sets to reduce administrative burden on providers and send a common message to them about performance accountability. This guide provides an overview of the steps states should take in developing a performance measure set—either on their own or in partnership with others—identifies critical considerations, and offers guidance in selecting measures.