The following links provide you with the major topics impacting Medicaid in schools over the next year. Read on and join the conversations:

The bipartisan Safer Communities Act that passed to prevent gun violence last week included language requiring CMS to issue new school-based Medicaid guidance before June 2023. The guidance does EXACTLY what we have been asking CMS to do for years and even does more than what we had hoped for in that it provides direct grants to states to start the hard, but meaningful work of changing how they process Medicaid claims, find ways to dramatically expand Medicaid-reimbursable services to schools, and generally take advantage of the new flexibilities that they will be granted via updated guidance to expand healthcare, particularly mental health services, to millions more children.

 

This is going to be totally game-changing for states, for districts and most importantly for KIDS.

 

Here are the specifics (which you can also find starting on page 11 here)

  1. Update the Medicaid guidance from 1997 and 2003
  2. Clarify that a State should take steps to allow a district to bill for any EPSDT service they provide
  3. Outline strategies/tools that reduce the administrative burdens on, and simplify billing for local educational agencies, in particular small and rural LEAs, and support compliance with Federal requirements regarding billing, payment, and recordkeeping, including by aligning direct service billing and school-based administrative claiming payments
  4. Include a comprehensive list of best practices and examples of approved methods that State Medicaid agencies and local educational agencies have used to pay for, and increase the availability of, assistance under Medicaid, including expanding  State programs to include all Medicaid-enrolled students, providing early and periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment  (EPSDT) services in schools, utilizing telehealth, coordinating with community-based mental health and substance use disorder treatment providers and organizations, coordinating with managed care entities, and supporting the provision of culturally competent and trauma-informed care in school settings; and
  5. Provide examples of the types of providers (which may include qualified school health personnel) that States may choose to enroll, deem, or otherwise treat as participating providers for purposes of school-based programs under Medicaid and best practices related to helping such providers enroll in Medicaid for purposes of participating in school-based programs under Medicaid. (note: this is essential for ensuring critical school personnel like school psychologists can bill Medicaid and was NOT something CMS was planning to clarify in their guidance based on our most recent conversations with them).
  6. Create a NEW TA Center—in consultation with ED—with $8m in seed money so districts and states aren’t lost about how to do school-based Medicaid any more. Further, the TA Center has to report to Congress on the areas where the most TA was requested to ensure that CMS is accountable and responsive to stakeholder needs.
  7. $50m in grants to States for the purpose of implementing, enhancing, or expanding the provision of assistance through school-based entities under Medicaid or CHIP.

 

Despite this amazing victory-- the work continues. We must continue to urge ED to reduce barriers to accessing Medicaid services in schools through changes to FERPA and parental consent requirements as well as urge CMS to follow this law (I love writing that!) and be more aggressive in promoting free care, removing TPL barriers, and more, but this is a great and unexpected new policy that we should all be proud of and celebrate.

Districts across the country are using federal COVID relief aid to bring mental health professionals into schools. But this unprecedented infusion of federal aid also creates a challenge: how to sustain new school staff positions when the funding expires at the end of 2024. In this analysis, Phyllis W. Jordan and Bella DiMarco of FutureEd, an independent, nonpartisan think tank at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, and Anne Dwyer of the McCourt School’s Center for Children and Families explain how Medicaid, the federal-state partnership that already provides health care for millions of public school students, could be part of the solution - as long as states take the necessary steps to use it and federal agencies back them up.

 

For resources to help organizations address the youth mental health crisis, check out the most recent Campaign Notes eNewsletter from CMS and the Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign:

https://www.insurekidsnow.gov/newsletter/2022/05/26/index.html. 

The National Alliance for Medicaid In Education is pleased to announce the selection of our new Executive Director, Jenny Millward, ED. D. 

Jenny brings with her 29 years of experience in special education and childhood disability advocacy in such roles as a special education teacher, Program Specialist for Speech Language Pathology and Director of Student Services at Houston County Schools in Georgia. In addition to her impressive career experience Jenny has also been an active member of G-CASE, CASE, and CEC since 2004, including holding the Legislative Committee Chair position for G-CASE since 2018.

NAME eagerly anticipates a thriving partnership with Jenny to promote integrity, collaboration, and success for its members. Welcome Jenny!

To connect with Jenny:

Dr. Jenny Millward, Executive Director

National Alliance for Medicaid in Education

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

478-808-1021

 

 

Embed School-based Services into a Unified, Comprehensive, and Equitable System of Student/Learning Supports 

Last week we noted that the increased concern about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many well intentioned initiatives and policy reports that, unfortunately,  limit discussion to integrating and expanding school‑based health services. The latest push is seen in the federal launch of a joint‑department effort to expand school‑based health services.

We raised the following caution:

While the focus on school‑based services is a necessary piece of addressing barriers to learning and teaching, it is just one facet of what schools need. And focusing on it in isolation of what else is needed has unfortunate consequences for students and schools.

This caution produced queries about what we think needs to be done. Recent reports and other resources may be accessed HERE in the Online Resource Catalogue. Below is a sample of the most recent reports:

How School Boards Can Pursue New Directions to Help Schools Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/boardrep2022.pdf. 

We won't Argue Against Adding More Counselors,

     BUT ...

Addressing Student Mental Health Concerns Involves Much More than Increasing the Number of Mental Health Providers http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/morethan.pdf. 

2021‑22: Addressing Learning, Behavior, and Emotional Problems Through Better Use of Student and Learning Support Staff http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/supports.pdf. 

For free access to three recent books detailing the policy and practice changes that can transform how schools address barriers to learning and teaching and reengage disconnected students and families, visit:

http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/improving_school_improvement.html. 

Dear Colleagues,

The National Alliance for Medicaid in Education (NAME) is pleased to invite you to submit a proposal to present a breakout session at the 20th Annual NAME Conference in Baltimore, Maryland! We are so excited to see you in person again!

The 2022 NAME Annual Conference will be held October 24-27 in Baltimore, Maryland. The conference will include general sessions hosted by NAME invited guests (CMS, OIG and a surprise speaker), as well as several nugget and breakout sessions. Last year’s virtual conference was a huge success, and we hope to top it this year when we are back together again! We know that to accomplish this goal, we must recruit the best presenters from across the country. For that, we need you!

NAME is seeking proposals from individuals, teams or panels to present breakout sessions at the 2022 conference.

  • Breakout sessions are 1.5 hours in length, allowing for in-depth presentation of a specific topic and time for audience participation. Multiple breakout sessions are presented concurrently. Time permitting, sessions may be repeated to give attendees the opportunity to learn from a variety of presentations.

NAME is seeking proposals that include but are not limited to the following areas:

  • Medicaid reimbursement;
  • Quality assurance in Medicaid billing;
  • Organizing data to ensure smooth reporting;
  • Innovative ways to provide and pay for health and related services in schools;
  • LEA outreach process to keep children enrolled in Medicaid;
  • Collaboration with Special Education;
  • Preparing for and dealing with federal and/or state Medicaid audits of school-based services programs; and
  • Other topics that would be of interest to conference attendees.
  • Free Care

We have prepared a “Call for Presenters” application, with instructions, that is due by June 1, 2022.

To access >> CLICK HERE

Submit your application(s) and plan to join us this October!   

Sincerely,

NAME 2022 Conference Committee

 

CMS guidance on telehealth (December 2021)

CMS has updated the State Medicaid and CHIP Telehealth Toolkit: Policy Considerations for States Expanding Use of Telehealth (Covid-19 Version) with guidance to states on telehealth. Notably, this guidance clarifies that states may cover Medicaid services delivered via audio-only technologies—and will continue to do so after the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

FAQ from U.S. Department of Education

The updated Frequently Asked Questions on Use of Funds to Prevent, Prepare for, and Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic provides updates and guidance that reinforces that states can take a broad approach to using ESSER funds to support school health.

Other Resources

Advancing Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems: A Guide for State Education Agencies

CCSSO and the National Center for School Mental Health

This guide outlines five key steps state education agencies can take to support a comprehensive approach to school mental health, alongside state examples and relevant resources.

The Kids Are Not All Right: The Urgent Need To Expand Effective Behavioral Health Services For Children And Youth

Health Affairs

This article highlights the need to spread and scale proven interventions throughout the health, public health and education systems in response to the current behavioral health crisis facing children and youth.

How to Sustain Telehealth Within Your Pediatric Practice

American Academy of Pediatrics

This toolkit includes several new resources for pediatricians and other pediatric care providers on telehealth implementation.

Six Questions State Boards Should Ask about Student Mental Health

National Association of State Boards of Education

This resource highlights specific questions for state board discussions on promoting student mental health.

We cannot wait to see you at our 20th Annual NAME Conference! 

Keynote Speaker Announced - Dr. Adolph Brown

headshot Dr. Brown

Born in the heart of the inner city, while spending summers in rural Virginiawith his grandfather, Adolph was reared to be extremely hard-working and reflective. Having had a single parent mother in the housing projects, having been a Head Start student, having been the first of his family of five to graduate high school, and having had his oldest sibling and only brother murdered when he was only 11, Adolph’s life and work have been a voyage of discovery beyond anything he could imagine. Adolph is a recovering middle school special education teacher, university professor, graduate college dean, and business soft skills consultant. He is an educational and clinical psychologist, master teacher, humorist, author, and philanthropist. As a philanthropist, Adolph donates 1/3 of his consultation fees to support a million dollars scholarship endowment for hardworking young people.

He has served as a legislative advocate, Virginia Head Start Association President and President of the Virginia Association of Black Psychologists. He brings his experience, focus, and sense of humor to each of his endeavors. Adolph is a man of virtue and simplicity. He is a deep thinker, an active listener, and a very engaging presenter. Adolph has a strong appreciation for the virtues of teaching, research and leadership, as he became the youngest tenured full university professor in the United States at the age of 29 with the help of encouraging teachers, nurturing family members and supporting community agencies. His research focuses on Servant Leadership, Teacher Education & Preparation, and Social Justice. He also quite often gives talks to today’s youth on yesterday’s life lessons; as well as instructs master classes to teachers on how to reach EVERY student. He has a “head” for adults and a “heart” for kids as he facilitates over 100 ALL grade levels student assemblies a year.

Adolph now lives in Virginia with his lovely wife Marla, he met while they were both undergraduates at the College of William and Mary. Virginia is indeed "For Lovers" as they have 8 kind-hearted children. Many still affectionately refer to him as "the U.S. Secretary of Inspiration" following his days with "America's Promise" founded by General Colin Powell. Adolph describes himself as "just an ordinary all-around nice guy" with regular problems and plenty of faith.

-Doc’s Manager, Sherri

REGISTER HERE 

Last Week to Take Advantage of Early Bird Pricing!

Early Bird Rate of $575 ends October 3rd 

The 2022 NAME Conference Early Bird registration rate ending soon! Be sure to complete your conference registration by October 3rd, 2022 to receive the early-bird rate of $575 – and remember, your annual membership to NAME is included with registration! 
After Oct. 3rd, the standard registration rate is $625.

October 24th-27th, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland

Visit our conference webpage here!

 20th name

Programming to include updates from CMS and OIG, as well as a surprise speaker to kick-off the conference. See the condensed schedule.

HOTEL INFORMATION:

NAME’s hotel block is currently sold out, but there are a few rooms still available at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel. 

We have another block of hotel rooms available. See the details below:

SpringHill Suites Baltimore Downtown/Inner Harbor (5-minute walk)

 You may also wish to look at these alternate accommodations:

  1. Marriott Waterfront Hotel (14-minute walk)
  2. Comfort Inn & Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor Hotel (3-minute walk)
  3. Sheraton Inn Harbor Hotel (10-minute walk). 

Social Night Update:

NAME has traditionally hosted a planned social event during the conference, but this year we are encouraging people to network, get together with their state groups, spend time with friends, meet new friends, and enjoy time with vendors on Tuesday night. There will be no NAME-hosted social outing. Some activities to consider while in Baltimore for Tuesday evening and beyond include:

- Hamilton, Oct. 11-30, 2022: https://baltimore.broadway.com/shows/hamilton/

-Baltimore Events: https://baltimore.org/events/

-Poe Home: https://www.poeinbaltimore.org/

-Ravens v. Browns: Sunday, Oct. 23rd @ 1:00 PM

We can’t wait to celebrate coming together with you in-person for our 20th conference in beautiful Baltimore!

 

Announcing this year’s focus for the National Initiative for Transforming Student and Learning Supports.

The COVID‑19 pandemic has made it inevitable that public schools will change in fundamental ways over the next few years. This is particularly the reality for how schools address barriers to learning and teaching and for efforts to reengage disconnected students and families.

See http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/newinitiative.html to see suggestions for some first steps that can be taken to improve student/learning supports and for resources to assist in moving forward.