by Kathy Merry (MI) Tracy Brunner (IN) and Jim Donoghue (IA)
NAME’s Region 2 consists of these states: Alabama; Arkansas; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Louisiana; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Ohio; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico; Texas; US Virgin Islands; and Wisconsin.
NAME National Survey of the States in Region 2. One of the most important projects NAME does is conduct the biennial national survey of the states—in which the individuals in each state’s Medicaid and Education agencies who work in the Medicaid school based services program, are asked to complete a survey collecting data about their program. NAME has learned over the years that the turnover in these positions is somewhat frequent, so it is not always easy to find the right individuals to participate in the survey.
Members of the NAME Leadership Team are charged to assist the Survey SubCommittee locate the appropriate people. In Region 2 we are pleased we made contact in early 2014 with many new colleagues from states in the Region, listed below. All of them committed to work on completing the 2013 survey which closes on April 15, 2014 (see other article elsewhere in this issue). For those new to NAME’s survey, we welcome your expertise and insights. For the veteran members, thank you for your continued participation.
• Arkansas: Martha Kay Asti from Arkansas Department of Education
• Florida: Anne Glass works at the University of South Florida
• Illinois: Marie Von DeBur and Betsy Wilding from Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services
• Minnesota: Ruth Ellen Luehr from the Minnesota Department of Education
• Missouri: Amy Kessel from the Missouri Department of Social Services
• Texas: Dario Avila is with the Texas Health and Human Services, School Health and Related Services
• Wisconsin: Allison Markoski (NAME member) from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
OIG Audit of Michigan SBS. In September 2013, Michigan’s Department of Community Health, where the State Medicaid Agency is located, was informed that Michigan had been selected for a federal Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audit of the School Based Services (SBS) Program. This will be the first review of the program since Michigan converted from a true fee-for-service reimbursement methodology to a new cost-based reimbursement plan effective July 2008.
“Before the auditors’ arrival”, Kathy Merry reports, “we had no other details from Washington, but we knew this was going to be big and important.” Once the auditors arrived, the state Medicaid agency was informed that they would begin their review with the Department of Community Health and from there, audit two Medicaid providers: Wayne Regional Education Service Area (RESA) and Ingham Intermediate School District. The anticipated timetable was six to eight months.
Ms. Merry observes, “Wayne RESA is the largest SBS provider in the state, and I serve as the Executive Director of this program. Ingham is also a large district. I’m sure that this audit will be thorough and a true learning experience, not only for me and the State of Michigan, but also for the entire NAME organization. I will keep the NAME membership informed about this audit as appropriate.”
As of this writing, the audit is not complete.
Indiana MAC Program Reaches Milestone. Did you know federal matching funds are available for allowable Medicaid administrative costs for a period up to 2 years prior to implementation of an approved “MAC” methodology? In Indiana, the Medicaid program proposed a process that looked back in time and analyzed the school data to determine reimbursement amounts. After a 16-month wait for CMS approval, 57 of Indiana’s 374 Local Education Agencies (LEAs) were able to “backcast” nearly $2 million in Medicaid administrative claims for the year prior to Indiana’s October 2011 school-based MAC program implementation.
Since October 2011 voluntary participation in Indiana’s first-ever statewide school-based Medicaid Administrative Claiming program has increased to 95 LEAs. For more information see the last two pages of the School Corp Medicaid Reimbursements Report at Indiana’s School-based Medicaid Web page: http://www.doe.in.gov/specialed/school-based-medicaid.