In a December 15, 2014 letter to State Medicaid Directors, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance regarding “free care”. This topic appears in a number of previous CMS guidance documents, including: “1997 Medicaid and School Health: A Technical Assistance Guide,” and “2003 Medicaid School-Based Administrative Claiming Guide.” The 12/15/14 letter provides clarification on “free care” in light of 2004 Departmental Appeals Board (DAB) Decision Number 1924.
NAME hopes to continue providing you information on this topic, as we reach out to our federal partners at CMS.
The American Public Health Association and its Center for School, Health and Education website highlights the role of school-based health services in helping to prevent school dropout and improve graduation rates. In another publication demonstrating the inextricable link between health and academic success, the Center for Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University argues the cost effectiveness of public investments to reduce debilitating chronic conditions, save tax dollars and boost economic productivity. And, in recognition that school dropout poses a major threat to public health, the Healthy People 2020 goals include an indicator related to educational achievement for the first time.
On November 12, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, together with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, issued joint guidance that explain that public elementary and secondary students with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities have civil rights to receive effective communication. The guidance is in the form of a letter to educators (available in Spanish) with an attached Frequently Asked Questions document, and is intended to help schools understand and comply with federal legal requirements on meeting the communication needs of students with disabilities. They also released a fact sheet on the guidance for parents (available in Spanish). Please share this information widely with your colleagues, affiliates, and networks.
One of the many ways that NAME provides leadership; promotes integrity, collaboration and success; and facilitates a network to share information is the national conference NAME holds every year.
In addition to a week-long opportunity to network with NAME members from across the country and attend informative sessions, NAME’s 2014 Conference in Niagara Falls, NY, demonstrated NAME’s ongoing dialogues with other national organizations. General sessions at this year’s conference included a panel discussion among representatives of related service provider national organizations AOTA (Occupational Therapy), APTA (Physical Therapy), ASHA (Speech and Language Pathologists/Audiologists, and NASN (School Nurses) and a ‘fireside chat’ featuring NAME’s new Executive Director and representatives of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE), the National Association of State Medicaid Directors (NASMD) and the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE).
In her weekly update to CASE members, Executive Director Luann Purcell emphasized the importance of partnerships and collaboration. She cited the NAME Conference as a good example and encouraged special educators to take advantage of resources that NAME offers, such as this year’s conference sessions on the growth of telepractice and its potential to help address the shortage of related service providers in some areas of the country. Watch NAME’s Member Only site for additional links to other national organizations that offer resources of interest to our membership.