Friday Is New Deadline for Waiver

State health officials get another few days to fine-tune the complex and multi-faceted Medicaid waiver, a plan that is expected to revamp and expand California’s Medi-Cal program. The waiver is worth about $10 billion in federal money over the next five years.

On Friday, CMS granted the extension in a letter to California’s Department of Health Care Services, saying that the agreement was close to finalization and that the extra few days are necessary to finish the “Bridge to Reform” demonstration.

“With these extra few days, we are confident we can finalize the documentation and provide the State with an approval of the Demonstration,” the extension letter said.

State officials said they could not discuss details of the waiver agreement until it’s finalized, but the request for an extension said, “We are eager to begin final approval so we can begin to extend coverage to hundreds of thousands of medically indigent adults through the Medicaid expansion, provide more accountable, coordinated and modern delivery systems for our most vulnerable Medi-Cal beneficiaries, and invest in the transformation of our public hospital health care delivery system.”

The request summed it up this way: “These actions will put California on a solid path to implementing federal health care reform and slowing the long-term expenditure growth rate of the Medi-Cal program.”

The new deadline for finalizing the Medicaid waiver is Friday.

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Capitol Desk Medi-Cal