States will have to begin filing information about who is on their Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program rolls every month instead of quarterly under an extension of a plan to collect data.
The goal is to better identify inadequate care as well as fraud, waste and abuse, resulting in increased efficiency of the programs and cost savings to the federal government.
“Having timely and consistent data will provide the ability for better and informed decisionmaking by Medicaid state and federal officials,” the CMS said.
The agency has asked the Office of Management and Budget (PDF) (OMB) to extend its permission to continue to gather data from a system called the Transformed Medicaid Statistical Information System (T-MSIS). OMB clearance is necessary for federal agencies to perform wide-scale data collections.
Since 2013, a handful of states have used the new system, which modernizes the way states submit data about beneficiaries, providers, claims and encounters.
An older version of the system and the data it collected was considered lacking.
The CMS is asking that the OMB extend the system's use to 2019.
“As the Medicaid program has become more complex and Medicaid expenditures consume a greater proportion of state and federal budgets, improvements in quality, detail, and timeliness of Medicaid statistical reporting have been required,” the CMS said.
Medicaid expenditures increased 9.4% from 2013 to 2014, reaching $498.9 billion, due largely to expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Over the next seven years, expenditures are projected to increase at an average annual rate of 6.2% and to reach $835 billion by 2023, according to the CMS.
The T-MSIS will provide states with real-time feedback on problems, replacing manual reviews of the data and providing the opportunity to improve on efficiency and expense.
In a report sent to President Barack Obama (PDF) last month about how the ACA has improved the lives of disabled individuals, the National Council on Disability, a federal agency, praised the CMS' transition to T-MSIS.
“This system could prove a rich source of data that researchers could use to explore Medicaid coverage of people with disabilities in the future,” the NCD said.
The CMS is also collecting public comment on its request until Feb. 29.