To:          School board members, superintendents, treasurers, and other school business officials

From:      Jay Smith, OSBA: (614) 540-4000
                Tom Ash, BASA: (614) 846-4080
                Barbara Shaner, OASBO: (614) 325-9562
                Craig Burford, OESCA: (614) 846-3855
Date:      May 16, 2016
Re:         Medicaid extension request update
The three school management associations, OSBA, BASA and OASBO, along with the Ohio Educational Service Center Association (OESCA), participated in a conference call on Friday, May 13, with Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) Director John McCarthy. The purpose of the call was to discuss the upcoming Aug. 1 deadline for meeting new federal requirements imposed on the Medicaid School Program (MSP) with regards to Ordering, Referring or Prescribing (ORP) for Medicaid eligible services.
You may recall that new directives issued by ODM in January, based on federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements, state that only physicians, physician assistants and advanced practice nurses can be ORP providers for MSP services. This includes services performed by physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology and audiology practitioners. Prior to these new requirements, these “practitioners of the healing arts” were able to meet the ORP specifications and were considered providers. In addition, these providers/practitioners of the healing arts are routinely employed by school districts but physicians, physician assistants and advanced practice nurses typically are not.
Currently, there are approximately 61,000 children in Ohio’s school districts that would need a referral by Aug. 1 of this year, based on these new ORP requirements. Recognizing it would be virtually impossible for all school districts to meet this deadline, the associations have been working with McCarthy in asking for an extension to be granted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS). Based on our recent conversation with the director, we are confident an extension will be granted; however, a plan for implementation will need to be submitted to meet the new federal ORP requirements. We are currently working with ODM and the Ohio Department of Education in developing this plan in hopes of offering school districts some relief in obtaining these referrals.
OSBA, BASA, OASBO and OESCA also will continue to work with ODM and other interested parties in seeking clarification and/or possible legislation that would allow practitioners of the healing arts to meet the ORP requirements for being a Medicaid provider.
We will continue to provide school districts with updates as more information becomes available. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us.

Ohio School Boards Association
8050 N. High Street, Suite 100
Columbus, OH 43235
(614) 540-4000

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