CMS Round Up

CMS Roundup (Apr. 19, 2024)

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Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides an at-a-glance summary of news from around the agency.

CMS Releases Medicaid School-Based Services Technical Assistance Center FAQs

April 5: CMS released the first set of Medicaid School-Based Services (SBS) Technical Assistance Center (TAC) FAQs, which are comprised of the most commonly asked questions the TAC receives from state Medicaid agencies, local education agencies (LEAs), and school-based entities as they work to provide greater assistance to children enrolled in Medicaid. The TAC assists state Medicaid agencies, LEAs, and school-based entities as they operationalize school-based services. The FAQs is one of several resources that the TAC supplies to support school-based services.

Schools provide a venue to enhance early identification of health needs and connect students to a broad range of health care services, including behavioral health resources. Additional information on Medicaid SBS can be found here.

CMS 2024 Quality Conference Focuses on Building Resiliency and Innovation in Health System

April 8-10: CMS hosted the 2024 Quality Conference, attracting more than 5,000 health care leaders from across the country to explore how best to develop and share solutions to address America’s most pervasive health system challenges. A robust agenda and slate of presenters reflected the conference theme “Resilient and Ready Together: Creating an Optimal Environment for Quality Healthcare for Individuals, Families, and Communities.” Attendees, both in-person and virtual, heard from CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure and other leaders on the agency’s ongoing efforts to improve quality, equity, and innovation throughout the health care sector. In conjunction with the conference, CMS released an update on its National Quality Strategy and an update summarizing accomplishments of the CMS Behavioral Health Cross-Cutting Initiative

CMS Releases Maryland Total Cost of Care Model Progress Report

April 8: CMS released a progress report on the Maryland Total Cost of Care (MD TCOC) Model. The model tests whether state accountability and provider incentives can improve care and population health for people with Medicare. Across its first four years, the model had positive effects on spending and service use, building upon encouraging trends seen after implementing global budgets under the Maryland All-Payer Model. Overall, the report found significant progress in the area of health equity to date. The model reduced disparities in quality-of-care measures for beneficiaries by race (non-Hispanic Black compared to White) and place (individuals living in high compared to low Social Vulnerability Index areas). One component of the model, the Maryland Primary Care Program (MDPCP), is improving timely follow-up after exacerbation of chronic conditions and possibly reducing admissions.

CMS Initiative Addresses Climate Change in Health Care Industry

April 10: CMS proposed the Decarbonization and Resilience Initiative, a voluntary element of the proposed Transforming Episode Accountability Model (TEAM), to assist selected hospitals by collecting, monitoring, assessing and addressing the threats of climate change. The health care industry is a significant source of harmful greenhouse gases, some of which come from building energy emissions, vehicles used for transportation, and anesthetic gas used in surgeries that escapes into the atmosphere. This initiative is the first time HHS proposes to collect data on health care greenhouse gas emissions and its effects on health outcomes, costs, and quality.

CMS Issues Fact Sheet for Potential Medicare Coverage of PrEP Using Antiviral Drugs

April 15: CMS issued a fact sheet in preparation for a potential National Coverage Determination (NCD) for Preexposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) using antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV infection. CMS is not announcing any coverage changes at this time. However, CMS is sharing this information before issuing an NCD to avoid any possible disruptions for people with Medicare, and encourage pharmacies and other interested parties to review Medicare enrollment instructions and other important information.  

CMS Approves Mobile Crisis Service for Maryland Medicaid Program

April 15: CMS approved a state plan amendment (SPA) for mobile crisis services in Maryland. Authorized under President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, states have a new option for supporting community-based mobile crisis intervention services for individuals with Medicaid. Mobile crisis intervention services are essential tools to meet people in crisis where they are, and rapidly provide critical services to people experiencing mental health or substance use crises, by connecting them to a behavioral health specialist 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. This option helps states integrate these services into their Medicaid programs, a critical component in establishing a sustainable public health-focused support network. This is the 18th mobile crisis SPA approved.

Other Recent Releases: 

April 10: CMS Proposes New Policies to Support Underserved Communities, Ease Drug Shortages, and Promote Patient Safety


CMS, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, serves the public as a trusted partner and steward, dedicated to advancing health equity, expanding coverage, and improving health outcomes. The agency protects public health by administering the Medicare program and working in partnership with state governments to administer Medicaid, CHIP, and the Health Insurance Marketplace.

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