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e-CFR data is current as of March 4, 2021

Title 42Chapter IVSubchapter CPart 438Subpart A → §438.5


Title 42: Public Health
PART 438—MANAGED CARE
Subpart A—General Provisions


§438.5   Rate development standards.

(a) Definitions. As used in this section and §438.7(b), the following terms have the indicated meanings:

Budget neutral means a standard for any risk sharing mechanism that recognizes both higher and lower expected costs among contracted MCOs, PIHPs, or PAHPs under a managed care program and does not create a net aggregate gain or loss across all payments under that managed care program.

Prospective risk adjustment means a methodology to account for anticipated variation in risk levels among contracted MCOs, PIHPs, or PAHPs that is derived from historical experience of the contracted MCOs, PIHPs, or PAHPs and applied to rates for the rating period for which the certification is submitted.

Retrospective risk adjustment means a methodology to account for variation in risk levels among contracted MCOs, PIHPs, or PAHPs that is derived from experience concurrent with the rating period of the contracted MCOs, PIHPs, or PAHPs subject to the adjustment and calculated at the expiration of the rating period.

Risk adjustment is a methodology to account for the health status of enrollees via relative risk factors when predicting or explaining costs of services covered under the contract for defined populations or for evaluating retrospectively the experience of MCOs, PIHPs, or PAHPs contracted with the State.

(b) Process and requirements for setting actuarially sound capitation rates. In setting actuarially sound capitation rates, the State must follow the steps below, in an appropriate order, in accordance with this section, or explain why they are not applicable:

(1) Consistent with paragraph (c) of this section, identify and develop the base utilization and price data.

(2) Consistent with paragraph (d) of this section, develop and apply trend factors, including cost and utilization, to base data that are developed from actual experience of the Medicaid population or a similar population in accordance with generally accepted actuarial practices and principles.

(3) Consistent with paragraph (e) of this section, develop the non-benefit component of the rate to account for reasonable expenses related to MCO, PIHP, or PAHP administration; taxes; licensing and regulatory fees; contribution to reserves; risk margin; cost of capital; and other operational costs associated with the MCO's, PIHP's, or PAHP's provision of State plan services to Medicaid enrollees.

(4) Consistent with paragraph (f) of this section, make appropriate and reasonable adjustments to account for changes to the base data, programmatic changes, non-benefit components, and any other adjustment necessary to establish actuarially sound rates.

(5) Take into account the MCO's, PIHP's, or PAHP's past medical loss ratio, as calculated and reported under §438.8, in the development of the capitation rates, and consider the projected medical loss ratio in accordance with §438.4(b)(9).

(6) Consistent with paragraph (g) of this section, if risk adjustment is applied, select a risk adjustment methodology that uses generally accepted models and apply it in a budget neutral manner across all MCOs, PIHPs, or PAHPs in the program to calculate adjustments to the payments as necessary.

(c) Base data. (1) States must provide all the validated encounter data, FFS data (as appropriate), and audited financial reports (as defined in §438.3(m)) that demonstrate experience for the populations to be served by the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP to the actuary developing the capitation rates for at least the three most recent and complete years prior to the rating period.

(2) States and their actuaries must use the most appropriate data, with the basis of the data being no older than from the 3 most recent and complete years prior to the rating period, for setting capitation rates. Such base data must be derived from the Medicaid population, or, if data on the Medicaid population is not available, derived from a similar population and adjusted to make the utilization and price data comparable to data from the Medicaid population. Data must be in accordance with actuarial standards for data quality and an explanation of why that specific data is used must be provided in the rate certification.

(3) Exception. (i) States that are unable to base their rates on data meeting the qualifications in paragraph (c)(2) of this section that the basis of the data be no older than from the 3 most recent and complete years prior to the rating period may request approval for an exception; the request must describe why an exception is necessary and describe the actions the state intends to take to come into compliance with those requirements.

(ii) States that request an exception from the base data standards established in this section must set forth a corrective action plan to come into compliance with the base data standards no later than 2 years after the last day of the rating period for which the deficiency was identified.

(d) Trend. Each trend must be reasonable and developed in accordance with generally accepted actuarial principles and practices. Trend must be developed primarily from actual experience of the Medicaid population or from a similar population.

(e) Non-benefit component of the rate. The development of the non-benefit component of the rate must include reasonable, appropriate, and attainable expenses related to MCO, PIHP, or PAHP administration, taxes, licensing and regulatory fees, contribution to reserves, risk margin, cost of capital, and other operational costs associated with the provision of services identified in §438.3(c)(1)(ii) to the populations covered under the contract.

(f) Adjustments. Each adjustment must reasonably support the development of an accurate base data set for purposes of rate setting, address appropriate programmatic changes, reflect the health status of the enrolled population, or reflect non-benefit costs, and be developed in accordance with generally accepted actuarial principles and practices.

(g) Risk adjustment. Prospective or retrospective risk adjustment methodologies must be developed in a budget neutral manner consistent with generally accepted actuarial principles and practices.

[81 FR 27853, May 6, 2016, as amended at 85 FR 72837, Nov. 13, 2020]

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