The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today approved Tennessee’s request to have the state receive Medicaid funding through a block grant, which would give the state more authority to make changes to the Medicaid program.

The Medicaid block grant approval, which is the first in the nation, is effective for 10 years and must get final approval from state lawmakers before it can be implemented.

The federal approval of the Medicaid block grant could be subject to court challenges and further review by the Biden Administration.

CMS last January released new Medicaid guidance to states that would enable them to apply for 1115 waiver authority to receive a defined amount of federal funding to cover services for certain healthy adults. This approach is commonly referred to as a block grant or a per capita cap, depending on the structure.

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