Concerns about school-based Medicaid billing expected to postpone proposed rule.

Delays in the release of a U.S. Department of Education final regulation planned to simplify the process of obtaining parental consent for Medicaid school-based health services are arising due to concerns regarding potential impacts on students’ out-of-school public insurance benefits.

The final rule, initially anticipated for release in January, has not seen any progress, according to an Education Department representative responding to K-12 Dive’s email inquiry on Thursday.

To address issues raised in public feedback on the proposed rule, the Education Department is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Opponents of the proposed rule have expressed concerns that a loss of outside public healthcare services could occur if school-based services are already being received, as determined by the Medicaid agency or a managed healthcare entity.

An August 2023 letter from 26 organizations highlighted instances where parents were informed after the fact that services might be considered duplicative, possibly leading to coverage denials for children.

In supporting the proposed rule, education administration groups, including the Council of Administrators of Special Education and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, underscored the need for simplification in the parental consent process, citing existing confusion and delineating the potential financial implications for schools originating from incomplete forms and reimbursement issues related to school-based Medicaid services.

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