An HHS appeals board ruled that five states don't have to repay the CMS a total of $981.9 million in federal Medicaid matching funds from a 10-year period beginning in 1992. Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine and Tennessee used nursing-home taxes to help fund their Medicaid programs and raise federal matching funds but then offered grants and tax credits to private-pay nursing home residents. In overturning the CMS' 2001 decision to seek repayment of some matching funds, the appeals board ruled that the agency had not provided enough guidance on use of fees, grants and tax credits. The Bush administration has been seeking to curb various financing maneuvers used by states to raise their federal Medicaid match. -- by Joseph Mantone
HHS rules five states can keep Medicaid money
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