School districts will only need to get written consent one time from parents in order to tap Medicaid funds for some students with disabilities, according to new regulations from the U.S. Department of Education that go into effect March 18.
Occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and mental-health counseling are among the services schools provide that are potentially reimbursable through Medicaid, if an eligible student requires them through his individualized education program. But since 2006, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act has required that schools get permission “each time” they seek a Medicaid payment.
The National Alliance for Medicaid in Education has said the requirement has been expensive and burdensome for schools and districts. When the Education Department first proposed changing the rule, back in September 2011, it cited data from the alliance that said some districts had extensive administrative costs. Some districts chose not to seek reimbursement rather than continually ask for consent.
A version of this article appeared in the February 20, 2013 edition of Education Week as Schools’ Access Eased for Medicaid Funds