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City Council Hearing: Medicaid Reimbursements

The City Council’s Education and Finance Committees will hold a joint oversight hearing on the topic “Medicaid Claims for Special Education – Related Services by the Department of Education.” Below is information from the council regarding the upcoming hearing:

In recent years the Department of Education (DOE) had failed to recover tens of millions of dollars in Medicaid reimbursements for services it provided to special-needs students. The DOE’s failure to claim the Medicaid reimbursements has been attributed to an inability to comply with new rules imposed after a 2005 federal audit found irregularities in City and State Medicaid claims from previous years. The new rules, effective as of September 2009, require more documentation, higher levels of certification for therapists and that districts provide annual training, and hire compliance officers. In a time of fiscal austerity, Medicaid reimbursements can be a significant source of revenue – especially important since districts must provide the services to students whether or not they are reimbursed.

This hearing will examine changes to the DOE’s system for collecting Medicaid reimbursements and whether sufficient improvements have been made to overcome past errors.

We invite members of Community Education Councils, parents, students, educators, advocates, and all other stakeholders and interested members of the public to testify at this hearing. Testimony will be limited to 2-3 minutes per person to allow as many as possible to testify. Although the hearing starts at 10:00 am, the Administration (Department of Education), as well as other witnesses (such as elected officials) have been invited to testify and answer questions from Council Members at the outset, so we do not expect to hear from others until sometime after 12:00pm. Please make sure you fill out a witness slip on the desk of the Sergeant-at-arms if you wish to testify. If you plan to bring written testimony, please bring at least 25 copies.

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