California Medicaid waiver approved

November 03, 2015

California officials announced an agreement with CMS on a $6.2-billion waiver, known as Medi-Cal 2020, which will sustain the state's efforts to reform its Medicaid program under a massive transformation waiver that expired on Oct. 31. The waiver includes $3.3 billion to help public safety net hospitals maintain and launch delivery-system reform initiatives, including infrastructure development, system redesign and improvements targeting clinical outcomes and population health. Providers welcomed the administration's support for those initiatives, but they're not happy about the limited inclusion of federal funding for uncompensated care, known as the Safety Net Care Pool. CMS agreed to extend the safety net pool for just one year instead of five. The pool also will be reduced to $236 million in 2016 from $400 million a year under the previous waiver.