CHEYENNE — Senate File 79, known as the Medicaid billing for school-based services bill, was approved by the Wyoming House March 30 and was signed into law by Governor Mark Gordon today.
Last year, Governor Gordon vetoed a similar bill saying that it was “well-intentioned” but “not well-timed”.
The legislation authorizes school districts to bill for school based services for Medicaid eligible students as specified; provides reimbursement to school districts for administrative costs; provides appropriations; authorizes a position; requires reports; and provides for effective dates.
Representatives Chad Banks, D-H17, and Clark Stith, R-H48, both voted in favor of the bill, stating that the bill should help local school districts as well as the state overall.
“The bill should be a win-win all the way around,” Rep. Banks said. “It allows school districts to bill Medicaid for school-based services that qualify. Ultimately it should help our local district and the overall state. Projections are that with in the first year the state will save nearly $400k, increasing to $2.7 million in year three.”
Rep. Stith said as of now, Wyoming is the only state in the country that does not currently ask for Medicaid reimbursement.
“Right now, the school districts provide services to certain special needs students (e.g., speech therapy, physical therapy) for which the federal government would reimburse the schools as a Medicaid eligible service,” Rep. Stith said. “Wyoming is the only state where school districts do not ask for reimbursement. This bill allows school districts to recover those funds from the federal government. The net recovery after all expenses should be about $3 million statewide.”
That bill states that beginning July 1, 2022, each school district with Medicaid eligible students receiving special education programs and services may bill the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) for the costs of any special education program and service covered under Wyoming statute that is provided to the district’s students.
The WDH will provide payment to each eligible school district that has billed to them as soon as reasonably practical for the costs of approved services.
By September 1 of each school year, each district will have to remit all funds received during the prior school year from the WDH for billed services to the Wyoming Department of Education. WDE will then remit all funds received from the districts to the state treasurer for deposit in the school foundation program account.
The number of Medicaid eligible students receiving special education programs and services for a school year will be determined by the WDE using data from October 1 of the immediately preceding school year.
Services and supplies authorized for medical assistance and Medicaid reimbursement in this bill includes professional services of a school psychologist, and a school social worker.
Also included are school based services delivered pursuant to an individual education program including services provided by an otherwise enrolled Medicaid provider type, provided by a licensed professional in a school setting, or delivery of other special education programs and services.
The director of the WDH, with the consent of the Governor, will be tasked with negotiating with the United States Department of Health and Human Services regarding necessary amendments to the state Medicaid plan and to ensure the necessary services are provided.
The WDH is authorized one full-time position for the purposes of this act. Additionally, the WDH is appropriated $142,622 from the school foundation program account, and the same amount from federal funds to implement this act. Of those funds, no more than $97,660 are to be used for salary and benefits.