Florida – Receives CMS Approval for Behavioral Health Housing Pilot

May 2019 ~

CMS has approved a Florida section 1115 pilot program that provides behavioral health services and temporary housing to Medicaid beneficiaries with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.

Under the program, beneficiaries suffering with addiction and/or severe behavioral health diagnoses would have access to maternity and housing support and maintenance services along with mobile crisis centers and peer support.

The state received the approval letter from CMS which will allow the Managed Medical Assistance Program pilot to be run in two parts of Florida within certain enrollment limits as part of the waiver.

Florida, to obtain the waiver, must follow certain home and community-based services and conflict of interest requirements. The state will be required to develop performance measures within 90 days following the approval of the waiver to address the requirements of the pre-tenancy services, tenancy sustaining services, mobile crisis management and self-help/peer support.

Florida will also be required to develop performance measures to address tenancy services requirements, mobile crisis management, and self-help/peer support. Florida submitted the waiver request to CMS in 2016.

“We are committed to supporting states that seek to test policies that are likely to improve beneficiary health because we believe that promoting independence and improving health  outcomes is in the best interests of the beneficiary and advances the fundamental objectives of the Medicaid program,” Chris Traylor, CMS’s deputy administrator and director, said in a letter to Florida’s deputy director of Medicaid, Beth Kidder.

“In its consideration of Florida’s MMA (Managed Medical Assistance amendment), CMS examined whether the demonstration was likely to assist in improving health outcomes, whether it would address health determinants that influence health outcomes, and whether it would incentivize beneficiaries to engage in their own healthcare and achieve better health outcomes,” he said.

“CMS has determined the Florida MMA Demonstration is likely to promote Medicaid objectives, and the waiver and expenditure authorities sought are necessary and appropriate to carry out the demonstration,” Traylor concluded.

Source(s): HealthLeaders; Fierce Healthcare; Open Minds; HMA Weekly Roundup April 3, 2019;