Policy content - CMSgov/cmcs-eregulations Wiki

This is an outline of core policy content work for this instance of eRegulations.

Potential parts to add

We want to focus on including parts that are relevant and important to CMCS staff.

For State Officers and other DSS staff:

  • 45 CFR 75 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for HHS Awards
  • 45 CFR 95 - General Administration - Grant Programs (Public Assistance, Medical Assistance and State Children's Health Insurance Programs)

To support Basic Health Program:

  • 42 CFR 600 - Administration, Eligibility, Essential Health Benefits, Performance Standards, Service Delivery Requirements, Premium And Cost Sharing, Allotments, And Reconcilation
  • 45 CFR 144 - Requirements Relating to Health Insurance Coverage

Additional helpful info for CMCS staff:

  • 45 CFR 155 - Exchange Establishment Standards and Other Related Standards Under the Affordable Care Act
  • 45 CFR 205 - General Administration - Public Assistance Programs

Parts in scope

In priority order for supplemental content:

  • 433 - State Fiscal Administration
  • 440 - Services: General Provisions
  • 435 - Eligibility In The States, District Of Columbia, The Northern Mariana Islands, And American Samoa
  • 430 - Grants To States For Medical Assistance Programs
  • 431 - State Organization And General Administration
  • 438 - Managed Care
  • 455 - Program Integrity: Medicaid
  • 441 - Services: Requirements and Limits Applicable to Specific Services
  • 447 - Payment for Services
  • 434 - Contracts
  • 432 - State Personnel Administration
  • 457 - Allotments and Grants to States [CHIP]
  • 436 - Eligibility In Guam, Puerto Rico, And The Virgin Islands
  • 456 - Utilization Control
  • 460 - Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly
  • 400 - Introduction; Definitions [Only 400.203 is relevant to Medicaid]

Supplemental content system

For reference for the team.


When you view a regulation page on eRegulations, the website "caches" the supplemental content for that page - in other words, it saves a copy of the list in a tiny file on your computer (as part of a hidden browser storage folder). That tiny cache file expires (gets automatically deleted) when it's 8 hours old, so people should see fresh data at least once a day.


  • If you view a page and then refresh it or load it again in a little while, the supplemental content loads instantly. This is intended to be a good experience for users doing research, especially anyone on a slower internet connection.


  • When a SME views a regulation page, then tags a piece of supplemental content intended to show up in the supplemental content list for that page, and then views the page again a minute later, it'll show the old version from the cache. You can open an incognito window to see the new material: Ctrl-Shift-N (Windows) or Command-Shift-N (mac OS) in Chrome or Edge.
  • A user doing research may not see brand-new links until their next work day.

It is easy for the devs to adjust the length of time for caching, for example to change it from 8 hours to 1 hour or 1 day.

Category structure

You can assign an item to a category, subcategory, or neither. If you assign it to neither, it won't show up on the site sidebars.

On the site sidebars, categories can display a list of subcategories or a list of items. For example, the category "Subregulatory Guidance" only shows subcategories, while the category "Reports to Congress" only shows items.

If a category contains a mix of items and subcategories, the category will only show the subcategories. The items won't show up. For example, if you categorize an item as directly belonging to "Subregulatory Guidance" even though that category contains subcategories, that item won't show up on the site. To get them to show up, put them into a relevant subcategory.

Subcategories contain items. (We have the option to have sub-sub-categories, but we haven't made any so far. If we did, subcategories would have the same pattern: they could only contain sub-sub-categories or items.)

Category hierarchy

The top-level categories and subregulatory guidance subcategories should be arranged in order of authoritativeness. Each category and subcategory may have its own ideal sorting order. We are adding and updating categories as we work on the content; the following list is an example.

  • Statutes (alphabetical order)
  • Rules with Preambles (most recent first, sorted by final rule)
  • Related Regulations (numerical order)
  • Subregulatory Guidance (most recent first for items with dates, then items without dates in alphabetical order)
    • State Medicaid Director Letter (SMDL)
    • State Health Official Letter (SHO)
    • CMCS Informational Bulletin (CIB)
    • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
    • State Medicaid Manual (SMM)
  • Implementation Resources (alphabetical order)
    • State Plan Amendment Resources
    • Technical Assistance for States
    • Templates
    • Toolkits
    • Waiver Resources
  • Terms (alphabetical order)

Creation of subpart and section info

Approximately once a day, our parser fetches data from eCFR. At that time, our system reads the structure of sections and subparts from eCFR, and it makes that information available to the rest of the system in a convenient format (posts it to a supplemental content endpoint).

The system adds all of the subparts to the subpart menu of the admin panel, and it adds all of the sections to the section menu. For all sections that belong to a subpart, it updates each section to be associated with its subpart. Sections that don’t belong to a subpart (such as 42 CFR 431.1 and 42 CFR 433.1) are not tagged with a subpart. If it finds that a section or subpart already exists and is correct, it skips over it.

If there are sections or subparts in the admin panel that didn’t exist in the eCFR data, they remain in the admin panel (they are skipped, not modified). This typically happens if people had added sections with typos, or if there are old sections that aren't in the latest version of the regulations.

Supplemental content item structure

Each item has an item ID and some combination of the following aspects (all are optional):

  • Date [can be year, year + month, or year + month + day, such as "2021-10-18"]
  • Name [identifier, such as "SHO # 21-005"]
  • Description [usually a document title, such as "Re: Medicaid Eligibility for COFA Migrants"]
  • Category [such as "State Health Official (SHO) Letter"]
  • URL [such as "https://www.medicaid.gov/federal-policy-guidance/downloads/sho21005.pdf"]
  • Locations [section or subpart info, such as "42 435.4", "42 435.907", etc.]

Synonym list

Here are our guidelines for expanding the synonym list that supports our search feature:

  • Capitalize when [tbd]

Potential supplemental content for each part

Part summary

A one sentence summary of each part (for reg part homepage). When the part text has a good intro sentence, reuse/adapt that sentence - if it doesn’t, write a new one. Should be plain-ish language (thread the needle between “policy experts would think that’s a decent description” and “informed but inexperienced readers can understand it”).

Key topics for parts

List of 3-5 key topics for each Part that inexperienced readers are likely looking for in that part, with links to key sections (for reg part homepages). Plain-ish language.