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As of February 9, 2020, there are 4958 open recommendations, of which 422 are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.
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Recommendation: To meet its fiduciary responsibility of ensuring that section 1115 waivers are budget neutral, the Secretary of Health and Human services should better ensure that valid methods are used to demonstrate budget neutrality, by developing and implementing consistent criteria for consideration of section 1115 demonstration waiver proposals.
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: As of January 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had taken some action to address GAO's 2002 recommendation. In August 2018, HHS issued written guidance through a State Medicaid Directors Letter documenting four key changes it made in 2016 to its budget neutrality policy. These changes addressed some, but not all of the questionable methods GAO identified in its reports. To fully address this recommendation, HHS should also address these other questionable methods, such as setting demonstration spending limits based on hypothetical costs-what the state could have paid-rather than payments actually made by the state. GAO has found that the use of hypothetical costs has the potential to inflate spending limits and thus threatens budget neutrality of demonstrations