(a)Scope of section. This section describes the purpose and effect of waivers, identifies the requirements that may be waived and the other regulations that apply to waivers, and sets forth the procedures that CMS follows in reviewing and taking action on waiver requests.
(b)Purpose of waivers. Waivers are intended to provide the flexibility needed to enable States to try new or different approaches to the efficient and cost-effective delivery of health care services, or to adapt their programs to the special needs of particular areas or groups of beneficiaries. Waivers allow exceptions to State plan requirements and permit a State to implement innovative programs or activities on a time-limited basis, and subject to specific safeguards for the protection of beneficiaries and the program. Detailed rules for waivers are set forth in subpart B of part 431, subpart A of part 440, and subpart G of part 441 of this chapter.
(c)Effect of waivers.
(1) Waivers under section 1915(b) allow a State to take the following actions:
(i) Implement a primary care case-management system or a specialty physician system.
(ii) Designate a locality to act as central broker in assisting Medicaid beneficiaries to choose among competing health care plans.
(iii) Share with beneficiaries (through provision of additional services) cost-savings made possible through the beneficiaries' use of more cost-effective medical care.
(iv) Limit beneficiaries' choice of providers (except in emergency situations and with respect to family planning services) to providers that fully meet reimbursement, quality, and utilization standards, which are established under the State plan and are consistent with access, quality, and efficient and economical furnishing of care.
(2) A waiver under section 1915(c) of the Act allows a State to include as “medical assistance” under its plan home and community based services furnished to beneficiaries who would otherwise need inpatient care that is furnished in a hospital, SNF, ICF, or ICF/IIDIID, and is reimbursable under the State plan.
(3) A waiver under section 1916 (a)(3) or (b)(3) of the Act allows a State to impose a deduction, cost-sharing or similar charge of up to twice the “nominal charge” established under the plan for outpatient services, if—
(i) The outpatient services are received in a hospital emergency room but are not emergency services; and
(ii) The State has shown that Medicaid beneficiaries have actually available and accessible to them alternative services of nonemergency outpatient services.
(d)Requirements that are waived. In order to permit the activities described in paragraph (c) of this section, one or more of the title XIX requirements must be waived, in whole or in part.
(1) Under section 1915(b) of the Act, and subject to certain limitations, any of the State plan requirements of section 1902 of the Act may be waived to achieve one of the purposes specified in that section.
(2) Under section 1915(c) of the Act, the following requirements may be waived:
(i) Statewideness—section 1902(a)(1).
(ii) Comparability of services—section 1902(a)(10)(B).
(iii) Income and resource rules—section 1902(a)(10)(C)(i)(III).
(3) Under section 1916 of the Act, paragraphs (a)(3) and (b)(3) require that any cost-sharing imposed on beneficiaries be nominal in amount, and provide an exception for nonemergency services furnished in a hospital emergency room if the conditions of paragraph (c)(3) of this section are met.
(e)Submittal of waiver request. The State Governor, the head of the Medicaid agency, or an authorized designee may submit the waiver request.
(f)Review of waiver requests.
(1) This paragraph applies to initial waiver requests and to requests for renewal or amendment of a previously approved waiver.
(2) CMS regional and central office staff review waiver requests and submit a recommendation to the Administrator, who—
(i) Has the authority to approve or deny waiver requests; and
(ii) Does not deny a request without first consulting the Secretary.
(3) A waiver request is considered approved unless, within 90 days after the request is received by CMS, the Administrator denies the request, or the Administrator or the Regional Administrator sends the State a written request for additional information necessary to reach a final decision. If additional information is requested, a new 90-day period begins on the day the response to the additional information request is received by the addressee.
(g)Basis for approval—
(1)Waivers under section 1915 (b) and (c). The Administrator approves waiver requests if the State's proposed program or activity meets the requirements of the Act and the regulations at § 431.55 or subpart G of part 441 of this chapter.
(2)Waivers under section 1916. The Administrator approves a waiver under section 1916 of the Act if the State shows, to CMS's satisfaction, that the Medicaid beneficiaries have available and accessible to them sources, other than a hospital emergency room, where they can obtain necessary nonemergency outpatient services.
(h)Effective date and duration of waivers—
(1)Effective date. Waivers receive a prospective effective date determined, with State input, by the Administrator. The effective date is specified in the letter of approval to the State.
(2)Duration of waivers—
(i)Home and community-based services under section 1915(c). The initial waiver is for a period of three years and may be renewed thereafter for periods of five years.
(ii)Waivers under sections 1915(b) and 1916. The initial waiver is for a period of two years and may be renewed for additional periods of up to two years as determined by the Administrator.
(3)Renewal of waivers.
(i) A renewal request must be submitted at least 90 days (but not more than 120 days) before a currently approved waiver expires, to provide adequate time for CMS review.
(ii) If a renewal request for a section 1915(c) waiver proposes a change in services provided, eligible population, service area, or statutory sections waived, the Administrator may consider it a new waiver, and approve it for a period of three years.
[56 FR 8846, Mar. 1, 1991]
Title 42 published on 2013-10-01
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