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.
The SUPPORT Act: New Tools in Medicaid to Address the Opioid Epidemic
Every day, an average of more than 115 Americans die from an opioid overdose, reflecting a crisis that has evolved – but not dissipated. Following several months of bipartisan, bicameral hearings, markups, and negotiations about how to address the opioid epidemic, the Senate on October 3 passed H.R. 6, The Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (the “SUPPORT Act”). On October 25, President Trump signed the legislation. On November 16, State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar, with technical experts from Manatt Health, on the SUPPORT Act. Most stakeholders agree that the bill is a significant step forward in addressing the opioid epidemic, reflecting a range of important policy changes such as initiatives to increase access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT), new grant, pilot and demonstration projects, and a series of changes to Medicaid and Medicare. During this webinar, experts from Manatt Health reviewed major health provisions of the new law and implications for states.