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Psychology Workforce and Development

Boosting access to mental and behavioral health services in schools by calling for updated Medicaid billing guidance

APA joined a group of 50 other national education, health care, and child welfare organizations in calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to expand access to school psychologists by updating its billing guidance to schools.

Cite this
American Psychological Association. (2021, March 10). Boosting access to mental and behavioral health services in schools by calling for updated Medicaid billing guidance. https://www.apaservices.org/advocacy/news/health-services-schools-medicaid

On February 16, APA joined 50 other national education, health care, and child welfare organizations in a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) (PDF, 170KB) that calls on the agency to update its guidance to states on billing for services provided to eligible children in schools by health professionals, including school psychologists. Medicaid is the third-largest funding stream for school districts. However, CMS has not updated its own billing guidance to schools since 2003, failing to reflect more recent administrative changes. These include the elimination of the “free care policy” that formerly prohibited billing Medicaid for services provided free of charge to other students. The letter encourages CMS to promptly update this guidance and promote the expansion of Medicaid school-based health care programs to offer a broader array of services for Medicaid-enrolled students. The letter also urges CMS to encourage schools to use telehealth services, which have proven to be an effective way for delivering mental and behavioral health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For more information, contact Kenneth Polishchuk or Andrew Strickland, JD.