The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued a proposed rule to substantially increase the federal government's funding of state Medicaid eligibility information systems. The proposed rule is available for viewing now and will be published in the Federal Register on Nov. 8.

The proposed increased funding is related to the state insurance exchanges mandated under the Accountable Care Act. CMS also has issued initial guidance to help states as they upgrade or implement information systems for the insurance exchanges and the Medicaid and CHIP programs.

Under the proposed rule, Medicaid eligibility systems "will potentially be eligible" for a federal matching rate of 90 percent for design and development of new eligibility systems and a 75 percent matching rate for maintenance and operations. The current matching rate for these systems is 50 percent.

States much meet certain performance standards and conditions--including seamless coordination with state insurance exchanges mandated under the reform law--to get the higher match. The 90 percent match is available until Dec. 31, 2015, and the 75 percent match will be available beyond that date if conditions continue to be met, according to a CMS announcement.

"The state Exchange grants will provide 100 percent support for Exchange I.T. infrastructure and now this 90 percent matching rate will be available for Exchange-related Medicaid eligibility system changes as well as for those Medicaid systems not directly related to the Exchanges," according to CMS.

--Joseph Goedert


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