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CMS wants Tennessee to change Trump-approved Medicaid block grant plan


Jason Kempin via Getty Images Dive Brief:

The Biden administration is asking Tennessee to make fundamental changes to its plan to create a Medicaid block grant program in the state.

The state’s controversial Medicaid plan was approved in the final days of the Trump administration. But the CMS held a federal public comment period through September that resulted in “significant concerns” for regulators about whether Tennessee’s policy promotes the objectives of Medicaid, according to a new letter to the director of TennCare, Tennessee’s Medicaid program.

The letter sent Thursday requests that Tennessee submit a new financing and budget neutrality model based on a traditional per member per month cap, instead of an aggregate cap, among other modifications.

Dive Insight:

Tennessee took a notable step to realize a long-held conservative goal in early 2021, when the Trump administration greenlit a waiver allowing the state to use a modified block grant in its Medicaid program.Under the 10-year waiver, Tennessee receives a lump sum of money annually from the federal government. Tennessee can keep up to 55% of any amount spent below the funding cap and reinvest it in other programs, giving it significant power over how it spends federal dollars.The waiver […]

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