More News on T-MSIS – Medicaid’s Transformed Statistical Information System

Say Ahhh! readers know I’ve been following the development of CMS’ new Transformed Medicaid Statistical Information System (T-MSIS) for…well…years. The last news we got on T-MSIS was last August when CMS released a State Health Officer Letter detailing its top 12 priorities for states, which I summarized in this blog. Recently, CMS issued a new Informational Bulletin that indicates it has established the next 11 priorities for T-MSIS, although the bulletin did not disclose them. It only indicated that they would be shared directly with the states during routine technical assistance processes.

It’s worth repeating what T-MSIS is – a critical Medicaid and CHIP data system designed to provide CMS with the information it needs to fulfill its duties in conducting program oversight and to provide other stakeholders with information they need to evaluate Medicaid and CHIP performance. T-MSIS data include enhanced information about beneficiary eligibility, beneficiary and provider enrollment, service utilization, claims and managed care data, and expenditure data for Medicaid and CHIP.

The recent informational bulletin details the expectations of where states should be in submitting the required data files. Key activities include maintaining monthly data submissions, resolving data issues associated with the initial 12 priorities, and moving states forward in meeting the new 11 priorities.

The informational bulletin lays out the following timeline:

  • In April 2019, Medicaid directors will receive a status report on their state’s current compliance with the August 2018 state official letter.
  • May 2019 is the deadline for states to submit improved T-MSIS data for inclusion in the first T-MSIS public file release.
  • In September 2019, states will be notified of significant data quality issues.
  • In November 2019, states with outstanding data quality issues will need to submit a state corrective action plan.

CMS also noted that it will include information regarding T-MSIS data quality in the Medicaid and CHIP Scorecard release. The first scorecard was released in June 2018 but it’s unclear when the next version will be released and how it will integrate compliance and quality relating to T-MSIS.

Medicaid researchers and stakeholders are anxiously awaiting access to T-MSIS data, so it’s exciting to think we may be getting closer. I would like to applaud CMS for planning a public file release but will hold my applause until they actually release it. CMS did not specify a release date and if it’s on the same track as the MAGI-processing times report, which reported data from February – April 2018 but wasn’t released until November 2018, we may be waiting for a while.

Tricia Brooks
Tricia Brooks is a Research Professor at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy’s Center for Children and Families