ED, HHS Update Resources, Propose Regulations for Schools to More Easily Deliver Health Care to Eligible Students
By the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 18, 2023) – The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) announced updated resources and proposed regulations for schools to deliver health care to eligible students, May 18.
The resources and proposed regulations represent part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act implementation efforts and actions to address the nation’s mental health crisis. The efforts aim to make it easier for schools to provide health care, including mental health services, to millions of students.
In a joint press release, ED and HHS announced three actions the departments will take to support the administration’s national mental health strategy. These actions include:
- Releasing a Notice of Proposed Rule Making under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to streamline Medicaid services consent provisions when billing for Medicaid services provide through a student’s individualized education program (IEP),
- Releasing a “Comprehensive Guide to Medicaid Services and Administrative Claiming,” and
- Approving New Mexico and Oregon’s state plan amendments that allow Medicaid to pay for health care services schools deliver to their Medicaid enrolled students.
The departments will hold a stakeholder call on the “School-based Services in Medicaid Super Guide,” May 22, 3:30 p.m. ET. Those interested in attending the call can register online.
ED’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
ED’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would also result “in a uniform process applicable to all Medicaid enrolled children, regardless of disability,” according to the press release. “It is crucial to remove barriers for schools so they can more easily provide Medicaid covered services to their students enrolled in Medicaid.”
ED predicted that almost 300,000 of the 500,000 new students found eligible under the IDEA Part B each year are likely to qualify for Medicaid and affected by this rule.
ED’s proposed regulatory change would help schools and districts pay for IDEA Part B required services by eliminating unnecessary challenges associated with accessing public benefits or insurance, like Medicaid.
“…The proposed changes announced today do not alter any of the critical parental consent provisions required by IDEA nor do they impact the parental consent obligations under the Family Educational Records and Privacy Act (FERPA),” according to the press release. “Additionally, the proposed rule does not alter the requirement that IEP services must be delivered at no cost to the child’s family, the requirement that IEP services cannot diminish other Medicaid-reimbursable services, nor Medicaid’s position as payor of first resort for IEP and Individualized Family Service Plan services.”
ED stated the regulatory change “would help cut unnecessary red tape that schools and districts face in billing Medicaid and meet their obligations to ensure students with disabilities receive a free, appropriate public education in accordance with their IEP.”
Comments must be received on or before Aug. 1, 2023. The notice on the Federal Register provides additional information about the proposed rule and how to submit comments.
Comprehensive Guide to Medicaid Services and Administrative Claiming
The Comprehensive Guide to Medicaid Services and Administrative Claiming provides guidance to make it easier for to bill Medicaid. The guidance outlines “flexibilities states can adopt to make it easier for schools to get paid for these critical health services delivered to children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP),” according to the press release.
Approval of State Plan Amendments
Finally, HHS’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approval of New Mexico and Oregon’s state plan amendments allows schools in the two states to receive Medicaid funding for services provided to all children, not just those students on IEPs, covered by Medicaid.
Learn more about the Proposed Regulations to Deliver Health Care Under IDEA Part B and the Medicare & Medicaid Services Updates:
- White House Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Actions to Tackle Nation’s Mental Health Crisis (May 18, 2023)
- Press Release: Biden-Harris Administration Takes Action to Help Schools Deliver Critical Health Care Services to Millions of Students (May 18, 2023)
- Notice of Proposed Rule Making: Assistance to States for the Education of Children With Disabilities (May 18, 2023)
- Delivering Services in School-Based Settings: A Comprehensive Guide to Medicaid Services and Administrative Claiming (May 18, 2023)
- Register for the Stakeholder Call on School-based Services in Medicaid Super Guide, May 22, 3:30 p.m. ET
- ED Press Release: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Nearly $100 Million in Continued Support for Mental Health and Student Wellness Through Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (May 15, 2023)
- White House Fact Sheet: President Biden to Announce Strategy to Address Our National Mental Health Crisis, As Part of Unity Agenda in his First State of the Union (March 1, 2022)
Last modified on May 18, 2023