COVID-19 CMS Policy Update for Section 1135 Waiver

recent SAE Issue Brief indicated that the CMS Medicaid waiver under Section 1135 will allow states to implement emergency policy changes for services in response to COVID-19. Providers must be aware of their state’s application and implementation status for Section 1135. Providers cannot structure service changes without ensuring all operational, clinical, and administrative policy and implementation guidelines adhere to their state’s approval and regulations.Please visit’s Federal Disaster Resources page, which provides federal resources that are helpful during emergencies and disasters. All Section 1135 approval letters will be posted there as they are issued. You can also view the Medicaid Disaster Response Toolkit for specific Policy and Program Section 1135 Waiver Flexibilities, which allow providers to download the state checklist of service change requests. This will inform providers about critical operational decisions they must be prepared to implement. 

SAE, based in New York City, has experience in being responsive to various emergency implementations with an eye for maintaining quality services, fiscal health, and establishing risk mitigation strategies. Factoring in operational and service threats like September 11, Hurricane Sandy, and the Northeast blackout of 2003, we understand the immediate and critical needs of providers at all levels of care. Stay tuned for the newest SAE CAREs Podcast series in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic, which will provide continued guidance and resources for providers adapting to the impact of COVID-19. The first podcast of this series will be available Friday, March 27. Feel free to contact us by emailing or calling 212.684.4480 for immediate Executive Coaching services to address your organizational needs.

SAE was very diligent, knowledgeable and savvy in their approach with this project. SAE assisted us during a very critical time of leadership transition with the Behavioral Health Division. SAE was able to respond promptly and guide us through the process of data collection, analysis, and finally to the final product of conceptualizing the value statement. This analysis, which blends clinical and financial analyses, was critical for the survival of at least one, but more likely, four of our behavioral health programs. I am extremely grateful to SAE for their warm and empathetic approach. I consider SAE part of the Goodwill Behavioral Health team, and we look forward to working with them again in the future.

– Gloria Choi, Senior Vice President of Goodwill NYNJ