What is the timeline for adult Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) implementation in New York State?
As of December 2015, HCBS begin for Adult HARP enrollees in NYC on January 1st 2016, and July 1, 2016 for rest-of-state. More information about implementation timelines can be accessed here.
Are adult Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) only made available for HARP eligible clients?
Yes, HCBS services are only available to clients that are enrolled in a HARP or an HIV SNP after they've undergone assessment and the assessment has indicated that they are eligible and for which services. For more information consult a recent workflow presentation.
Will Managed Care Organizations know who the designated Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) providers are? How do providers find out who the HCBS providers are?
Yes, Plans are provided this information and when available the list of the designated providers is also publicly available on the OMH website, and can be accessed here.
How do associations, agencies, and non-Medicaid providers get designated to provide adult Home and Community Based Services?
As outlined on the OMH website, the initial designation process for adult BH HCBS was completed in March 2015 for New York City and December 2015 for the rest of state. All agencies wishing to provide BH HCBS must apply to be designated for each service they would like to provide. Applicants may apply at any time for a designation; however the state will only update the designation lists quarterly for each area on a periodic basis.
Can homeless clients use the Crisis Respite Home and Community Based Service for adults?
If an individual is HARP eligible, yes, but note that Crisis Respite has usage caps outlined in the HCBS manual and MCTAC trainings.
How do agencies identify if an adult client is HARP/HCBS eligible?
HARP/HCBS eligiblity information is available using ePaces.
Are HARPs required to have case managers? How are clients assigned to Home Health Care Managers?
Yes, HARPs are required to have case managers. The expectation is that most face to face care management will be done through the Health Homes. Each Health Home has its own assignment process.
How do Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) work for those between the ages of 18 and 21?
At this time, the current OMH Children’s Waiver covers children until the age of 18. The adult BH HCBS services are only available to eligible adults ages 21 and over in HARPs or HIV SNPs.
Is there a cap for how many family members or collaterals the person may identify to receive adult Family Support Services?
The individual receiving this service is the one who decides which family members and other collaterals may be engaged in the service. When the service is provided in a group setting, there cannot be more than 16 individuals in the group. Additionally, the cap of 40 hours per year does apply.
What trips are covered under adult Home and Community Based Services non-medical transportation?
Please refer to MCTAC's non-medical transporation webinar, held on January 6, 2016, which provided guidance on allowable vs. non-allowable trips. Resources from this webinar can be found here.
Can an adult recipient of Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) also receive Health Home Care Coordination without duplication of services?
Yes. All clients who are in a HARP are eligible for Health Home Care coordination, which is the population that will receive HCBS. All clients that receive HCBS are eligible for Health Home Care Coordination. A client can opt out of health home coordination but still receive HCBS. Please see most updated workflow.
What are the requirements and expectations regarding supervision of peer support specialists/advocates for adults?
Per state issued guidance, supervision of peer support must be provided by a licensed behavioral health practitioner. The frequency of supervision should be determined as clinically appropriate.
How do providers access the manual for ePaces codes? Where on ePaces can providers find those codes? What should providers look for? How long will it take for those codes to be updated?
On ePaces, look at the restriction and exception codes. Also on ePaces, providers should be able to get an anniversary date for recertification. Note the county of responsibility. This transition is based on the client's county of responsibility, not where the provider program is. For more information consult ePaces help. Codes start on page 259.
Will there be any standards concerning choice and conflict of interest (for the service choices the clients are making)?
The federal government is very serious about conflict free choice in HCBS. Providers will need to document the choices being offered to the client and the state will collect and monitor that information.
Are HCBS certification and provider qualifications requirements or guidelines? Do all criteria need to be met? Can staff waivers be obtained and if so how?
New York State HCBS certification and provider qualifications are requirements. All criteria must be met and at this time there are no staff waivers.
For adult clients, what are tiers 1 and 2?
Client tier status is determined by the brief Community Mental Health Assessment. Tier 1 indicates eligibility for select HCBS services including Employment, Education and Peer Supports. Tier 2 indicates eligibility for the full array of HCBS. The brief assessment may also find that an individual is not eligible for HCBS. All HARP enrolled individuals are eligible for short-term crisis respite.
For adult clients, under what circumstances does the Plan of Care need to be redone?
The plan of care can be redone if the tier of eligiblity may no longer be appropriate based on observation or a major life change. Contact your lead Health Home for more information.
What is HARP?
According to the NY Department of Health, "Adults enrolled in Medicaid and 21 years or older with select Serious Mental Illness (SMI) and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) diagnoses having serious behavioral health issues will be eligible to enroll in a new type of health plan, HARP. These specialty lines of business operated by the MCO will be available statewide. Individuals meeting the HARP eligibility criteria who are already enrolled in an HIV Special Needs Plan may remain enrolled in the current plan and receive the enhanced benefits of a HARP. HARPs and SNPs will arrange for access to a benefit package of Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) for members who are determined eligible. HARPs and SNPs will contract with Health Homes, or other State designated entities, to develop a person-centered care plan and provide care management for all services within the care plan, including the HCBS."
How do providers determine who has been designated part of a HARP?
Individual HARP eligibility and enrollment are included in ePaces. Information regarding Managed Care Plans that participate in HARP is available at the MCTAC Plan Matrix.
How many individuals are enrolled in a HARP?
New York State identified 60,000 individuals in New York City and is expected to identify a similar number for rest-of-state.
Who will determine if an adult is HARP eligible?
New York State determines who is HARP eligible. Individuals are eligible if they meet target risk criteria/risk factors or are identified by the service system or a service provider.
Target Criteria: -Eligible for mainstream enrollment and Medicaid enrolled, -21 and older, -Serious Mental Illness/Substance Use Disorder diagnosis, -Not dually eligible for Medicare, -Not participating in OPWDD program
Are adults in HIV SNPs included in HARPS?
Individuals in HIV SNPs are eligible for all services associated with HARP/HCBS under same rules as HARP eligible individuals.
If a provider were to use a certified peer from an existing program, would it affect the staffing plan of that program, e.g. a peer from a PROS program providing an adult Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Service (BH HCBS). Will peer time for the BH HCBS be subtracted from PROS staffing plan?
Yes. Sharing staff between your adult BH HCBS and other certified programs is allowed; however, the total time (FTE) that an employee spends on BH HCBS must be separated out on the CFR, and the PROS staffing plan must account for this.
What is the timeframe for adult Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Service (BH HCBS) providers to complete the assessment(s) for frequency, duration, and scope of each individual service?
The initial assessment by the adult BH HCBS provider to determine frequency, duration, and scope must be completed within 14 calendar days from the first visit.
Will each adult Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Service (BH HCBS) provider receive a copy of the individual’s Plan of Care? Will the BH HCBS Individual Service Plans be shared among providers?
The BH HCBS plan of care is completed by the Health Home Care Manager. Once complete, the BH HCBS plan of care must be signed by each of the BH HCBS designated agencies providing a BH HCBS service indicated in the HCBS plan of care.
What is the process for an adult to obtain Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) after HARP-enrollment?
For adult CPST what are the criteria for a “licensed professional,” and does a CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor) meet these criteria?
CPST must be provided by "Professional Staff",” as defined in the BH HCBS Manual appendix. The manual qualifies that those licenses are issued via NYSED and are focused on the provision of direct services related to the treatment of mental illnesses and SUDs. The CASAC credential is a certificate issued by OASAS, and as such should not be included. CASACs & CASAC-Ts are identified specifically in the Staffing Guidelines, part IV; they were not overlooked in the professional staffing titles.
For adults, how is CPST different from outpatient clinic or ACT (Assertive Community Treatment)?
CPST is a Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Service (BH HCBS) available to individuals who are identified as having that need via the NYS Community Mental Health Assessment. It is a stand-alone service providing clinical mental health services to individuals in the community, at the intensity that best meets the individual’s needs. As opposed to outpatient clinic, CPST must be provided off-site, in the individual’s home or a community setting.
ACT is an evidence-based treatment approach targeting people who are resistant to traditional methods of
service delivery or for whom those approaches have not proven effective. There are specific treatment modalities employed, specific staff competencies and trainings proscribed; these are provided by closely monitored consistent teams specializing in a variety of disciplines and life areas, with a focus on ongoing monitoring and communication between all members via their daily Team Meeting. There is no provision in BH HCBS, or specifically CPST, for this intensity of service. The foundation of BH HCBS is that they are consumer-driven and recovery-oriented; they are not intended to address the intense engagement needs that ACT-appropriate consumers have.
Individuals receiving ACT services are not eligible for BH HCBS while they are receiving ACT services.
Can an adult OASAS-Certified Peer provide services to a mental health client and vice-versa?
OMH and OASAS certification programs are separate. The best practice would be for a peer specialist to have the certifications that aligns with the population with which he or she is working. For those working with the dually-diagnosed population, it is recommended that they have both certifications to be fully prepared to serve that population.
Can adult Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Services (BH HCBS) be provided in group settings?
The only BH HCBS that may be provided in groups are Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services and Family Support & Training services. All other BH HCBS must be provided 1:1.
Often times adult peer support specialists provide support through phone, email, and texting. Can these activities be billed under adult Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Services (BH HCBS) Peer Support?
NYS recognizes that peer support specialists provide many valuable activities beyond face-to-face interventions. However, all BH HCBS must be provided face-to-face. Phone, e-mail, and texting would not be considered billable activities.
How will adult HCBS services fit into a community with a PROS (Personalized Recovery Oriented Services) program? When would a client be appropriate for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) versus PROS?
When choosing when, where, and how to receive services, individuals should be provided with the opportunity to make an informed choice. PROS is a comprehensive and integrated service model that is able to support multiple goals. BH HCBS may be appropriate for individuals who want to work in the community on 1-2 goals, who are averse to attending a program, or who require 1:1 services that a PROS program cannot sustain. The individual, together with his or her Health Home Care Manager and Managed Care Organization (MCO), will determine whether PROS or BH HCBS are more appropriate to help him or her attain or maintain his or her goals. Additionally, there are certain BH HCBS (such as Peer Support and Education Support Services) that can be provided to an individual who is enrolled in PROS.
Who will be responsible for determining if an adult assessed as eligible for Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Services (BH HCBS) lives in a Home and Community Based setting?
This should be determined by the Health Home Care Manager. Further guidance on the HCBS settings requirements is forthcoming.
Can individuals who reside in OMH-licensed Community Residences receive adult Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) in off-site locations?
Community Residences are non-compliant settings for BH HCBS. Individuals residing in community residences are ineligible to receive BH HCBS.
Can Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Services (BH HCBS) be provided in individuals’ homes?
The state encourages BH HCBS providers to provide services in the individuals’ homes and in community locations. Determinations regarding where services will be provided should be made in partnership with the individual. It should be noted that services cannot be provided in residential settings that are not HCBS compliant (such as psychiatric centers or community residences), and individuals who reside in these settings are not eligible to receive BH HCBS.
How will determinations be made regarding settings that are subject to Heightened Scrutiny? Are individuals who reside in Scattered-Site housing considered eligible to receive adult Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)?
The housing settings that currently qualify as HCBS settings include an individual’s own apartment, scattered-site Supported Housing units, or in a family home. BH HCBS designated providers are expected to sign and submit to OMH an BH HCBS Settings Attestation form, declaring site compliance with the BH HCBS settings rule. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the providers to ensure standards are met. Settings under Heightened Scrutiny will not be approved until organizations have submitted a Heightened Scrutiny Self-Survey. Additional details on the survey will be provided. Further guidance regarding HCBS settings compliance is forthcoming.
What are the requirements for Education Specialists for adult HCBS?
All Education Support Staff should have a minimum of two years working in behavioral health. Education Specialists should possess a Bachelor's degree and have two years of experience supporting individuals in pursuing education goals. A supervisor may be unlicensed and requires a minimum of a Bachelor's degree (preferably a Masters in Rehabilitation or a relevant field), a minimum of three years of relevant work experience, preferably as an education specialist.
If an individual has previously failed in an education program, is he or she eligible to receive adult Education Support Services? Is there a minimum number of credits or classes an individual needs to pursue?
If the individual has been assessed as eligible for BH HCBS Education Support Services, has a goal that requires the service, and wants to receive the service, it should be included in the Plan of Care. Failing to complete an educational program in the past does not preclude an individual from receiving this service in the future. There is no minimum number of courses or classes in which an individual must be enrolled. Ongoing Supported Education is provided when an individual has been admitted to an educational or training program.
If an individual is eligible for ACCES-VR, how can adult Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Services (BH HCBS) provide employment and education services?
The BH HCBS Provider Manual stipulates that Education and Employment services may be provided to the extent to which they are not available under a program funded by the IDEA or available for funding by ACCES-VR. BH HCBS services and ACCES-VR services can complement each other, and whenever appropriate, the Health Home Care Manager and provider should ensure coordination with the ACCES-VR Vocational Counselor. It is important that an individual be provided the opportunity to make an informed choice between services and providers. Further guidance is forthcoming.
Are adults who are actively using substances, who have a history of substance use, or who have a history of incarceration eligible for education or employment services?
If the individual has been assessed as eligible for Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Services (BH HCBS), has a goal that requires the service, and wants to receive the service(s), it should be included in the Plan of Care. Substance use and a history of incarceration should not be used an exclusionary criteria for these services.
What would be the typical sequence(s) through which an adult would move between the various services in the Employment cluster?
Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Services (BH HCBS) Employment and Education services are not meant to be sequential. An individualized and person-centered approach should be used to identify the service(s) that are most appropriate to meet the individual’s needs.
Are adult Intensive Supported Employment and Ongoing Supported Employment subject to the same 250-hour cap that includes Pre-vocational Services and Transitional Employment Services?
Pre-Vocational Services and Transitional Employment are capped together at 250 hours per year. Intensive Supported Employment and Ongoing Supported Employment are each capped individually at 250 hours per year. An assessment by the provider will determine the appropriate frequency, scope, and duration of services. The provider(s) must work with the Plan and the Health Home Care Manager to ensure appropriate utilization management. In addition to the caps on the number of hours, providers should be aware that there are utilization thresholds listed in the Billing Manual that also apply.
Can adult CPST services and PSR services be provided concurrently, and if so, how will two different providers ensure that the combined 500-hour cap is not exceeded?
CPST and PSR may be provided concurrently. It will be important for providers to maintain contact with the Plan and Health Home Care Manager to ensure appropriate utilization management. Following an assessment, each provider will make recommendations regarding scope, duration, and frequency of the service. All BH HCBS are subject to utilization thresholds.
How are adult Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) and adult Habilitation different?
The adult BH HCBS Provider Manual provides definitions of each service. PSR services are designed to assist the individual with compensating for or eliminating functional deficits and interpersonal and/or environmental barriers associated with their behavioral health disorder. Habilitation services are designed to assist individuals in acquiring, retaining, and improving skills necessary to reside successfully in home and community-based settings.
Should Health Homes assess only HARP-enrolled individuals, or are we expected to assess all HARP-eligible individuals for Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Services (BH HCBS) eligibility?
Where can families go to access Adult Home and Community Based (HCBS) Family Support Services?
In order for an individual (and their family) to access this service, they must go through an assessment process conducted by the Health Home Care Manager. Based on the results of the assessment, the Care Manager will work with the individual to determine which BH HCBS will be received. Even if an individual is eligible to receive this service, his or her family members may only be involved at the individual’s request.
What are the training and experience requirements for adult Family Support staff? Is there a credentialing process?
There is no certification or credentialing process specific to providers of Family Support and Training. This service may be provided by unlicensed staff who have at least a high school diploma or equivalent and 1-3 years of relevant experience working with individuals with behavioral health disorders. OMH-certified Peer Specialists and OASAS-certified Peer Advocates, CASACs, CASAC-T’s, and Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioners (CPRPs) may also provide this service.
For adults, can Family Support & Training be offered to the individual alone to review and assess the plan, or does a family member need to be present in order to bill?
Family Support and Training is provided to family members at the individual's request. In order to bill for this service, a family member must be present.
Can you explain the group ratios? The fees matrix has rates for groups of 2 or 3, but the HCBS Provider Manual indicates that you can have up to 16 individuals in a group.
Family Support and Training groups are limited to 2 or 3 families at a time, with no more than 16 individuals in any one group.
When will an updated Adult Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Services (BH HCBS) Provider Manual be available?
For the initial 3 assessment visits with an adult individual how will the Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Services (BH HCBS) provider bill for these services? Will these visits have a different rate than the service rate? Will these visits apply to the utilization cap?
BH HCBS providers have up to 3 visits to determine the scope, duration, and frequency for the individual based on their needs, goals and preferences. This is a part of the BH HCBS and should be billed the same way an individual BH HCBS is billed. The time spent during these three visits will count toward the cap on hours.
Can adults who are homeless receive Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)? Does it make a difference if the individual is sheltered or unsheltered?
OMH and OASAS will release further guidance on providing services to individuals who are homeless.
Can children's HCBS (Home and Community Based Services) be delivered by a health home?
No. There will be a designation process to provide these services. The Health Homes role is to coordinate care, not provide direct services.
What's the difference between SPA and HCBS?
SPA services are available to all children eligible for Medicaid. HCBS is available only to children who meet target, risk and functional criteria. SPA determined by medical necessity and HCBS meeting defined criteria. Medicaid eligible children excluded from managed care will be eligible for SPA services and HCBS under Fee for Service.
Who will be designated as children's HCBS providers and what is the process?
The children's HCBS designation will closely resemble the adult designation. Once the provider manual is released (defining the qualifications, the trainings, etc.) there will be an application form that will be filed electronically. The state agencies will then review them and designation will be determined. This process will differ from the adult process because in the children's service system there are already 1915c services and therefore the children's system already has HCBS providers. Current HCBS providers will be grandfathered in to provide whatever services they currently provide under HCBS in the managed care system.
Will agencies that have applied to be designated HCBS services for both adult and children, be rejected?
On the OMH website, the adult HCBS with NYC and rest of state designation information is public. There is also contact information if you have questions about or wish to change your designation. Look on the OMH site or under "Tools and Resources" on mctac.org for the appropriate links. There are not yet any designated children's HCBS providers for the Medicaid Managed Care transition.
Will providers be able to see a list of those designated for children's services?
Similarly to the adult side, HCBS and SPA designations will be posted publicly as well as given to the relevant Medicaid Managed Care Plans.
Crisis intervention is offered under HCBS and SPA, how do care managers determine which should provide the service to their children?
Crisis Intervention will be one of the new 6 SPA services. SPA services will be available to any eligible Medicaid child.
If an agency provides services to both children and adults and has been approved for adult BH HCBS, do they receive automatic approval for the children's HCBS?
No, the designation process to provide HCBS services to children is a separate and distinct process from the Adult HCBS designation.
Will an OPWDD agency be able to apply to become an HCBS children's provider?
Yes, however each agency will need to meet certain parameters to be approved to provide services.
For HCBS services, what is the anticipated volume of kids who will need these services? Will they have to be assessed by the Health Homes?
The state plans to use the CANS-NY Assessment tool for eligibility of HCBS services. The state anticipates Health Home Care Managers will carry out the majority of these assessments. The anticipated volume of children needing HCBS is under development.
For children, what is the difference between habilitative skill building and habilitation?
Habilitation is based on the existing Day Habilitation service from the OCFS B2H waiver and the Habilitative skill building service is based on the skill building service from the OMH HCBS Waiver and OCFS B2H waiver. We are still finalizing the full details of these services.
Is a Plan of Care required if the only BH HCBS the adult is receiving is Non-Medical Transportation (NMT)? What is an example of an appropriate NMT trip for an individual who is not receiving any other BH HCBS?
NMT is considered a BH HCBS, and therefore the HCBS requirements for Plans of Care must be met when NMT is utilized. However, the State does not expect that there will be many individuals for whom it will be appropriate to use NMT and not be engaged in other BH HCBS. An example of an appropriate NMT trip for an individual who is not receiving other BH HCBS is a trip to a job interview for an individual with an employment goal who is engaged in a Personalized Recovery Oriented Services (PROS) program and therefore is not eligible for the BH HCBS employment services.
Where is the adult Non-Medical Transportation (NMT) Grid accessed?
Do adult BH HCBS providers bill for Non-Medical Transportation (NMT)?
BH HCBS providers would only provide and bill NMT if they are enrolled Medicaid transportation providers and are assigned transportation by the manager. Transportation is assigned via enrollee choice within the appropriate level of service or rotation when no choice is expressed. When billing for NMT, enrolled Medicaid transportation providers must receive prior authorization from the transportation manager and bill through eMedNY through the same billing process as fee-for-service Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT).
Can adult BH HCBS providers bill for mileage for staff trips related to an individual’s goal?
Non-Medical Transportation (NMT) is a BH HCBS and is separate from Staff Transportation which is a supplemental rate add-on for some BH HCBS. BH HCBS providers can bill for mileage for staff trips, as long as the mileage is tied to a service that was provided and it is a service that qualifies for Staff Transportation. The services that qualify are essentially all services, except NMT, respite services, and Psychosocial Rehabilitation or Family Support and Training if those services are provided to a group. Information about Staff Transportation is also available in the billing manual here.
What is the timeframe in which the MCO must confirm the proposed Non-Medical Transportation (NMT) is appropriate based on the approved POC/Level of Service Determination decision and send the Grid to the Transportation Manager?
If the NMT Grid is received with the level of service determination request, the MCO should forward the Grid to the Transportation Manager at the time of the approval of the level of service. If the Grid is received after the Level of Service approval, the MCO should review and make a decision regarding the appropriateness of the proposed NMT within the timeframe for Service Authorization Requests in Appendix F of the Medicaid Managed Care/Family Health Plus/HIV SNP Model Contract.