Idaho Medicaid submits behavioral health transformation/IMD waiver for federal approval

Niki Forbing-Orr

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) today formally submitted a section 1115 behavioral health transformation waiver to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for federal consideration.

This 1115 waiver, undertaken in response to changes in Idaho law enacted during the 2019 legislative session, seeks federal approval to allow Medicaid reimbursement for mental health and substance use disorder services delivered to Medicaid enrollees in Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMDs) as part of the overall continuum of behavioral health care.

The Division of Medicaid has begun development of a comprehensive implementation plan for the waiver that will detail changes DHW is proposing to improve and broaden the entire behavioral health continuum of care. 

Idaho recently completed a 30-day state comment period and has delivered documentation of those results to CMS. Only 1 percent of the total comments received expressed opposition to the waiver. Today’s submission will open a 30-day federal comment period, after which CMS will begin the process of negotiating waiver content in close collaboration with the Idaho Medicaid team.

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