The federal government will streamline the renewal process for state Medicaid waivers for demonstration programs that are established and achieving their goals and for which major changes are not being proposed.

According to an informational bulletin issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS),

This process is designed to facilitate faster review of and federal decisions regarding state requests to extend established 1115 demonstrations, reducing administrative burden on states and the federal government.

This approach streamlines the extension process for those states with established demonstrations that are working successfully and who are not proposing to make major or complex policy changes to the demonstration. Timeframes for these reviews will be comparable to those CMS uses to make decisions on Medicaid section 1915 waivers or state plan amendments. This new approach provides for a more efficient federal review process, as well as a more effective assessment of demonstrations’ progress in promoting high quality, accessible, and affordable health care coverage to beneficiaries.

cmsThe length of time such reviews are taking was the subject of two recent congressional hearings.

The informational bulletin outlines how waiver application renewals qualify for this new process, how the fast-track process will work, and how long the streamlined reviews should take.

To learn more about this new approach to Medicaid waiver renewals, see CMS’s July 24 informational bulletin.