NASHVILLE (January 15) – State Representative Tandy Darby (R-Greenfield) last week announced Tennessee House Republicans passed HJR0018, a resolution approving the waiver for Tennessee’s shared savings proposal from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
The waiver amendment is the first of its kind in the nation. The proposal rewards Tennessee for its efficient fiscal management and gives the state the ability to better administer TennCare from within Tennessee, according to a press release issued by Darby’s office.
The shared savings plan will allow Tennessee to keep a share of underutilized federal funds to be reinvested in health-related services for TennCare enrollees. These enhanced programs include prioritizing maternal health, serving additional needy populations, eliminating the wait list for intellectual and developmental disability services, and addressing other sate-specific public health crises.
This proposal gives Tennessee more control over TennCare, ensuring a higher quality of care and more efficient services for the approximate 1.4 million Tennesseans enrolled in the program, the release notes. With the shared savings, TennCare will have the flexibility to add new populations and benefits without federal approval, adequately address fraud, more effectively manage the pharmacy program, and invest in health rather than simply healthcare.
“I am excited about this opportunity we have been given to improve healthcare for Tennesseans,” Darby said. “This unique proposal will give our state the ability to provide better services and care for those who need it most.”
The process to approve the proposed waiver began in 2019, when the Tennessee General Assembly passed HB1280 directing the governor to submit the waiver amendment and negotiate with CMS. The agreement will be implemented by TennCare upon approval.