State Rep. Rush Bricken, R-Tullahoma, 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 plan rewards the Volunteer State for its efficient fiscal management and gives the state the ability to better administer TennCare within Tennessee.
The shared savings plan will allow Tennessee to keep a share of underutilized federal funds so they may 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. 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 health care.
“We have been given the historic opportunity to improve our state’s healthcare system in an innovative way,” Bricken said. “I am proud of the work the General Assembly has put into this plan to pursue a more efficient way to serve our TennCare enrollees, while simultaneously enhancing our already high quality of care.”
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.