CMS approved its first Medicaid COVID-19 emergency demonstration, making the state of Washington the first to receive approval. The approval provides new flexibility and resources so the state of Washington can deliver the most effective care to their Medicaid beneficiaries. In addition to new payment and reimbursement arrangements, the demonstration allows the state to target services based on geography and population needs and to triage access to long-term services and supports (LTSS) based on highest need.
To date, CMS has approved more than 115 requests for state relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including recent approvals for Colorado, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Washington, Wyoming, and Puerto Rico. These approvals help to ensure that states have the tools they need to combat COVID-19 through a wide variety of waivers, amendments, and Medicaid state plan flexibilities, including for programs that care for the elderly and people with disabilities. CMS developed a toolkit to expedite the application and review of each request and has approved these requests in record time. These approved flexibilities support President Trump’s commitment to a COVID-19 response that is locally executed, state managed, and federally supported.