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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of May 26, 2020

Title 42Chapter IVSubchapter CPart 431Subpart P → Subject Group


Title 42: Public Health
PART 431—STATE ORGANIZATION AND GENERAL ADMINISTRATION
Subpart P—Quality Control


Medicaid Eligibility Quality Control (MEQC) Program

Source: Sections 431.800 through 431.808 appear at 55 FR 22166, May 31, 1990, unless otherwise noted.

§431.800   Basis and scope.

This subpart establishes State requirements for the Medicaid Eligibility Quality Control (MEQC) Program designed to reduce erroneous expenditures by monitoring eligibility determinations and a claims processing assessment that monitors claims processing operations. MEQC will work in conjunction with the Payment Error Rate Measurement (PERM) Program established in subpart Q of this part. In years in which the State is required to participate in PERM, as stated in subpart Q of this part, it will only participate in the PERM program and will not be required to conduct a MEQC pilot. In the 2 years between PERM cycles, the State is required to conduct a MEQC pilot, as set forth in this subpart.

[82 FR 31182, July 5, 2017]

§431.804   Definitions.

As used in this subpart—

Active case means an individual determined to be currently authorized as eligible for Medicaid or CHIP by the State.

Corrective action means action(s) to be taken by the State to reduce major error causes, trends in errors or other vulnerabilities for the purpose of reducing improper payments in Medicaid and CHIP.

Deficiency means a finding in processing identified through active case review or negative case review that does not meet the definition of an eligibility error.

Eligibility means meeting the State's categorical and financial criteria for receipt of benefits under the Medicaid or CHIP programs.

Eligibility error is an error resulting from the States' improper application of Federal rules and the State's documented policies and procedures that causes a beneficiary to be determined eligible when he or she is ineligible for Medicaid or CHIP, causes a beneficiary to be determined eligible for the incorrect type of assistance, causes applications for Medicaid or CHIP to be improperly denied by the State, or causes existing cases to be improperly terminated from Medicaid or CHIP by the State. An eligibility error may also be caused when a redetermination did not occur timely or a required element of the eligibility determination process (for example income) cannot be verified as being performed/completed by the state.

Medicaid Eligibility Quality Control (MEQC) means a program designed to reduce erroneous expenditures by monitoring eligibility determinations and work in conjunction with the PERM program established in subpart Q of this part.

MEQC pilot refers to the process used to implement the MEQC Program.

MEQC review period is the 12-month timespan from which the State will sample and review cases.

Negative case means an individual denied or terminated eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP by the State.

Off-years are the scheduled 2-year period of time between a States' designated PERM years.

Payment Error Rate Measurement (PERM) Program means the program set forth at subpart Q of this part utilized to calculate a national improper payment rate for Medicaid and CHIP.

PERM year is the scheduled and designated year for a State to participate in, and be measured by, the PERM Program set forth at subpart Q of this part.

[82 FR 31182, July 5, 2017]

§431.806   State requirements.

(a) General requirements. (1) In a State's PERM year, the PERM measurement will meet the requirements of section 1903(u) of the Act.

(2) In the 2 years between each State's PERM year, the State is required to conduct one MEQC pilot, which will span parts of both off years.

(i) The MEQC pilot review period will span 12 months of a calendar year, beginning the January 1 following the end of the State's PERM year through December 31.

(ii) The MEQC pilot planning document described in §431.814 is due no later than the first November 1 following the end of the State's PERM year.

(iii) A State must submit its MEQC pilot findings and its plan for corrective action(s) by the August 1 following the end of its MEQC pilot review period.

(b) PERM measurement. Requirements for the State PERM review process are set forth in subpart Q of this part.

(c) MEQC pilots. MEQC pilot requirements are specified in §§431.812 through 431.820.

(d) Claims processing assessment system. Except in a State that has an approved Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) under subpart C of part 433 of this subchapter, a State plan must provide for operating a Medicaid quality control claims processing assessment system that meets the requirements of §§431.830 through 431.836.

[82 FR 31182, July 5, 2017]

§431.808   Protection of beneficiary rights.

Any individual performing activities under the MEQC program or the claims processing assessment system specified in this subpart must do so in a manner that is consistent with the provisions of §§435.902 and 436.901 of this subchapter concerning the rights of beneficiaries.

§431.810   Basic elements of the Medicaid Eligibility Quality Control (MEQC) Program.

(a) General requirements. The State must operate the MEQC pilot in accordance with this section and §§431.812 through 431.820, as well as other instructions established by CMS.

(b) Review requirements. The State must conduct reviews for the MEQC pilot in accordance with the requirements specified in §431.812 and other instructions established by CMS.

(c) Pilot planning requirements. The State must develop a MEQC pilot planning proposal in accordance with requirements specified in §431.814 and other instructions established by CMS.

(d) Reporting requirements. The State must report the finding of the MEQC pilots in accordance with the requirements specified in §431.816 and other instructions established by CMS.

(e) Corrective action requirements. The State must conduct corrective actions based on the findings of the MEQC pilots in accordance with the requirements specified in §431.820 and other instructions established by CMS.

[82 FR 31183, July 5, 2017]

§431.812   Review procedures.

(a) General requirements. Each State is required to conduct a MEQC pilot during the 2 years between required PERM cycles in accordance with the approved pilot planning document specified in §431.814, as well as other instructions established by CMS. The agency and personnel responsible for the development, direction, implementation, and evaluation of the MEQC reviews and associated activities, must be functionally and physically separate from the State agencies and personnel that are responsible for Medicaid and CHIP policy and operations, including eligibility determinations.

(b) Active case reviews. (1) The State must review all active cases selected from the universe of cases, as established in the State's approved MEQC pilot planning document, under §431.814 to determine if the cases were eligible for services, as well as to identify deficiencies in processing subject to corrective actions.

(2) The State must select and review, at a minimum, 400 active cases in total from the Medicaid and CHIP universe.

(i) The State must review at least 200 Medicaid cases.

(ii) The State will identify in the pilot planning document at §431.814 the sample size per program.

(iii) The State may sample more than 400 cases.

(3) The State may propose to focus the active case reviews on recent changes to eligibility policies and processes, areas where the state suspects vulnerabilities, or proven error prone areas.

(i) Unless otherwise directed by CMS, the State must propose its active case review approach in the pilot planning document described at §431.814 or perform a comprehensive review.

(ii) When the State has a PERM eligibility improper payment rate that exceeds the 3 percent national standard for two consecutive PERM cycles, the State must follow CMS direction for its active case reviews. CMS guidance will be provided to any state meeting this criteria.

(c) Negative case reviews. (1) As established in the State's approved MEQC pilot planning document under §431.814, the State must review negative cases selected from the State's universe of cases that are denied or terminated in the review month to determine if the denial, or termination, was correct, as well as to identify deficiencies in processing subject to corrective actions.

(2) The State must review, at a minimum, 200 negative cases from Medicaid and 200 negative cases from CHIP.

(i) The State may sample more than 200 cases from Medicaid and/or more than 200 cases from CHIP.

(ii) [Reserved]

(d) Error definition. (1) An active case error is an error resulting from the State's improper application of Federal rules and the State's documented policies and procedures that causes a beneficiary to be determined eligible when he or she is ineligible for Medicaid or CHIP, causes a beneficiary to be determined eligible for the incorrect type of assistance, or when a determination did not occur timely or cannot be verified.

(2) Negative case errors are errors, based on the State's documented policies and procedures, resulting from either of the following:

(i) Applications for Medicaid or CHIP that are improperly denied by the State.

(ii) Existing cases that are improperly terminated from Medicaid or CHIP by the State.

(e) Active case payment reviews. In accordance with instructions established by CMS, the State must also conduct payment reviews to identify payments for active case errors, as well as identify the individual's understated or overstated liability, and report payment findings as specified in §431.816.

[82 FR 31183, July 5, 2017]

§431.814   Pilot planning document.

(a) Plan approval. For each MEQC pilot, the State must submit a MEQC pilot planning document that meets the requirements of this section to CMS for approval by the first November 1 following the end of the State's PERM year. The State must receive approval for a plan before the plan can be implemented.

(b) Plan requirements. The State must have an approved pilot planning document in effect for each MEQC pilot that must be in accordance with instructions established by CMS and that includes, at a minimum, the following for—

(1) Active case reviews. (i) Focus of the active case reviews in accordance with §431.812(b)(3) and justification for focus.

(ii) Universe development process.

(iii) Sample size per program.

(iv) Sample selection procedure.

(v) Case review process.

(2) Negative case reviews. (i) Universe development process.

(ii) Sample size per program.

(iii) Sample selection procedure.

(iv) Case review process.

[82 FR 31183, July 5, 2017]

§431.816   Case review completion deadlines and submittal of reports.

(a) The State must complete case reviews and submit reports of findings to CMS as specified in paragraph (b) of this section in the form and at the time specified by CMS.

(b) In addition to the reporting requirements specified in §431.814 relating to the MEQC pilot planning document, the State must complete case reviews and submit reports of findings to CMS in accordance with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section.

(1) For all active and negative cases reviewed, the State must submit a detailed case-level report in a format provided by CMS.

(2) All case-level findings will be due by August 1 following the end of the MEQC review period.

[82 FR 31183, July 5, 2017]

§431.818   Access to records.

The State, upon written request, must submit to the HHS staff, or other designated entity, all records, including complete local agency eligibility case files or legible copies and all other documents pertaining to its MEQC reviews to which the State has access, including information available under part 435, subpart I of this chapter.

[82 FR 31184, July 5, 2017]

§431.820   Corrective action under the MEQC program.

The State must—

(a) Take action to correct any active or negative case errors, including deficiencies, found in the MEQC pilot sampled cases in accordance with instructions established by CMS;

(b) By the August 1 following the MEQC review period, submit to CMS a report that—

(1) Identifies the root cause and any trends found in the case review findings.

(2) Offers corrective actions for each unique error and deficiency finding based on the analysis provided in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(c) In the corrective action report, the State must provide updates on corrective actions reported for the previous MEQC pilot.

[82 FR 31184, July 5, 2017]

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