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Waiver Legislation: Update and Summary

In June, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) submitted an initial waiver proposal to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS is currently reviewing the proposal and will offer feedback to DHCS who will then submit a final waiver application no later than September 1, 2010.

Concurrently, our elected officials in Sacramento are moving forward with legislation that will make the necessary changes in law so that the state implements the new waiver once it receives CMS approval. Two identical bills, AB 342 (Perez) & SB 208 (Steinberg), were recently amended to comport with the requests made in the June proposal to CMS.

Legislative Update: Both bills recently passed out of the opposite houses’ Health Committees and are now awaiting hearing in the opposite houses’ Appropriations Committees. The bills will likely be amended multiple times before their final passage as California’s waiver proposal gets more refined, advocates’ requests are incorporated, and CMS offers further guidance and parameters.

New Waiver Material: We have recently posted a 2-page Outline of the Waiver Bills. Soon we will be publishing an easy-to-read outline of the state’s 70-page proposal to CMS.

Check ’em out!