Frequently Asked Questions

NYS Policy Top Question
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Can an agency be designated for both Adult BH HCBS and CORE?

Designation for Adult BH HCBS and CORE is by service type (e.g., PSR, PreVocational Services, etc.). An agency can be designated for individual services under BH HCBS, CORE or both.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

How do currently designated Adult BH HCBS providers become designated for CORE?

Current BH HCBS CPST, PSR, FST, and Peer Support providers will automatically be given provisional CORE designation. Provisional designation letters will be sent to all eligible providers by January 3rd, 2022.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Can Behavioral Health Care Collaborative (BHCC) and/or Independent Practice Associations (BH IPA) be direct providers of CORE Services for adults?

No. BHCC/BH IPAs are networks of behavioral health service providers. BHCC/BH IPAs may have CORE Services designated providers within their networks.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

What will be done to ensure that adults interested in CORE are offered a choice of providers without conflict free care management?

For referrals made by Health Home Care Managers (CM) the CM will ensure that the member is offered a choice among all in network providers in accordance with the Health Home standards. The State strongly encourages other referral sources to educate members and facilitate an opportunity for an informed choice. As with any other benefit, individuals may choose to access CORE services from any in network provider.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Will a Plan of Care (POC) be required for CORE services?

A Health Home Plan of Care will not be required for CORE services. CORE services must be documented in an Individual Service Plan (ISP) maintained by the CORE services provider.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

What is the role of Recovery Coordinators with CORE?

Recovery Coordinators do not have any formal role in referrals to CORE Services. CORE Services do not require completion of the NYS Eligibility Assessment or the BH HCBS Plan of Care. 

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

What are the minimum qualifications for a Licensed Practitioner of the Healing Arts (LPHA) who can recommend CORE services?

For the purposes of making a recommendation to CORE Services, the minimum qualifications for an LPHA are:
• Doctors (MD/DO)
• Physician’s Assistant (PA)
• Nurse Practitioner (NP)
• Registered Nurse (RN)
• Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
• Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
• Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT)
• Licensed Psychologist
• Licensed Psychoanalyst
• Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), under the supervision of an LCSW, Psychologist, or Psychiatrist employed by the agency.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Do Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselors (CASACs) meet the minimum qualifications to complete the LPHA recommendation for CORE services?

No, CASACs do not meet the minimum requirement to complete the LPHA Recommendation for CORE services.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

For CORE services, what is the purpose of the LPHA recommendation?

The purpose of the LPHA recommendation is to determine and document medical necessity for CORE Services. 

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

For CORE services, when does the LPHA recommendation need to be done? Before or after referral?

Referrals are not required to come in with an LPHA Recommendation. Providers should be prepared to complete or obtain an LPHA recommendation as a part of intake and evaluation process, prior to developing an ISP.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Does the LPHA need to document a qualifying psychiatric and/or SUD diagnosis to make the LPHA recommendation for CORE Services?

No. Under the 1115 Demonstration Waiver, CORE Services are limited to HARP-eligible individuals and as such a diagnosis does not need to be confirmed or documented in the LPHA recommendation or elsewhere in the case record.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Are designated providers required to have an LPHA assigned to CORE?

The State recommends identifying LPHAs within each organization who are able to support this work. Agencies will need to make their own decisions about the sustainability of hiring an LPHA. There are many considerations an agency should take, including whether the LPHA will also be acting as the clinical supervisor for direct service staff. Agencies may also wish to share an LPHA with other programs or services within their agencies (e.g., PROS, Clinic, and/or CFTSS). 

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Do I need to send the LPHA recommendation for CORE services to the Managed Care Organization (MCO)?

Providers are not required to submit LPHA recommendation to MCOs in order to begin providing CORE services. From time to time, MCOs may request a copy of the LPHA recommendation, just as they may request any other documentation from the case record.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Can a staff at an MCO do the LPHA recommendation for CORE services if they meet the minimum requirements for a LPHA?

At this time, the LPHA recommendation form cannot be completed by staff at the MCO. However, MCOs play an essential role in connecting their members to CORE Services by referring them to in-network providers.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

What needs to be in a CORE referral? Will there be a template?

There is no set template for CORE referrals. The CORE provider should define their own referral and intake/eval processes, including what information or documents are needed with a referral. The process should be simple and follow a “No Wrong Door” policy. Providers must establish their process in a formal Policy & Procedure.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Who can make a referral to CORE services?

With the No Wrong Door referral pathway, anyone can make a referral including the prospective client (self-referrals). Referrals are not required to come in with an LPHA recommendation.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Who is eligible to conduct the CORE intake and evaluation?

Any staff who is qualified to provide the specific CORE service can do the intake and evaluation for that service.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

What will happen if the CORE Service Initiation Notification Form is submitted after the 3-business day timeframe?

CORE providers must notify an enrollee’s MCO within three (3) business days after the first date of initiating a new CORE Service. This allows for the MCO to identify any concerns regarding duplication of services. If the CORE Service Initiation Notification Form has not been submitted, an MCO may pend (or hold) the claim. The MCO will then reach out to the provider to request submission of the Service Initiation Notification Form. Providers should be aware that if the MCO identifies a duplicative service and the form was not submitted on time, claims may be denied.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Is there an intake/evaluation tool for CORE services?

There is no state-issued template for the intake and evaluation process, however agencies are encouraged to develop a tool/form that can guide a person-centered discussion of: the individual’s recovery goal(s), the individual’s strengths and resources, the individual’s barriers and needs, the individual’s preferences for service delivery (including days, times, staffing, etc.), and how the CORE service will be used to support attainment of their goal.

Agencies may also consider the use of standardized screening tools that can inform service plan development. For example, the Daily Living Activities 20 (DLA-20), Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), CAGE questionnaire and/or Fagerstrom Tolerance Scale.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

How do CORE providers notify Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) about an individual initiating CORE Services?

CORE providers must notify an enrollee’s MCO within three business days after their first date of initiating a new CORE Service, which includes CORE Service Intake and Evaluation.

MCOs must implement a secure electronic process for receiving and responding to CORE Services initiation notifications. NYS developed a template containing the information providers must submit to MCOs. See the CORE Service Initiation Notification Form for additional information. MCOs may use this template or develop their own but can only include information contained in the template. MCOs are expected to clearly communicate and provide any necessary training to their CORE provider network about the specific MCO’s notification process.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Will there be any change to the HARP eligibility algorithm as a part of the CORE implementation?

At this time there are no planned changes to the HARP eligibility algorithm as part of the CORE implementation.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Who is eligible for CORE services?

Eligibility for CORE Services is based on three criteria:
1. The individual must be HARP Eligible,
2. The individual must be enrolled in a HARP or HIV-Special
Needs Plan (SNP); and
The services must be recommended by a Licensed Practitioner of the Healing Arts (LPHA).

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Will the settings restrictions in the Adult BH HCBS Final Rule apply to CORE services as it did BH HCBS?

No, the HCBS Settings Final Rule does not apply to CORE services.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Can staff provide both Adult BH HCBS and CORE? If so, how do we determine caseloads for staff providing both BH HCBS and CORE?

Staff can provide both BH HCBS and CORE Services. There are no caseload restrictions for CORE. For mixed caseloads, BH HCBS caseloads must be representative of the staff time dedicated to BH HCBS. For example, if your agency has a full-time staff who is half-time CORE and half-time BH HCBS, then their BH HCBS caseload should not exceed 10 individuals. This is because the BH HCBS caseload maximum is 20 individuals.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Will CORE Providers be eligible for permanent approval to deliver services via telehealth?

Yes, designated providers are eligible to apply for permanent approval to deliver services via telehealth. Additional clinical and programmatic guidance regarding CORE and telehealth is forthcoming.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

If a provider has received permanent approval to deliver BH HCBS via telehealth will that approval transfer over to CORE Services?

Yes, if a provider has been approved to deliver BH HCBS via telehealth that approval will transfer over to CORE Services. Updates may need to be made to the agency’s policies and procedures to reflect the change in language.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

How do we determine scope, intensity, duration, and frequency of services for CORE?

The CORE provider will conduct an intake and engage the individual through person-centered planning (PCP) to determine frequency, scope, intensity, and duration of recommended services to move the person towards their goal. The clinical supervisor can be a resource to staff in formulating the service plan. See the Operations Manual for additional information about the PCP process.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

How long is a unit in CORE? What are the recommended unit ranges?

A unit is 15 minutes. Under BH HCBS, services were subject to daily unit limits. These limits have been removed for CORE and replaced with recommended unit ranges, which are intended to illustrate the scope of services. See the Operations Manual for recommended programmatic unit ranges by service type.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

What happens if a person wants to do additional CORE Services after their initial referral and intake?

If the LPHA recommendation does not include the additional service(s), an updated LPHA recommendation is necessary. An intake & evaluation for the new service(s) must be done and the service added to their ISP. The MCO must be notified of the additional service(s) as well.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Has “progress made/follow up” been eliminated from the progress notes for CORE? If so, how do we document progress made as well as follow-up/next steps?

Yes, this section of the progress note is no longer required. Progress made should be regularly monitored and documented in the ISP review summaries.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Do supervisors need to sign off on CORE encounter/progress notes?

The service encounter note needs to have the name, qualifications, dated signature of the staff person delivering the service. Although it is not required for a supervisor to sign off, an agency can choose to do so to ensure notes meet billing requirements.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

What trainings do supervisors/staff need to take for CORE Services? Do staff need to retake trainings if they have done those trainings in the past for BH HCBS?

All CORE training requirements for staff and supervisors will be indicated in the CORE Staff Training Memo. There are overlapping trainings from BH HCBS that apply to CORE trainings. Staff will not have to repeat previously completed trainings that are required for both BH HCBS and CORE.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

What is NIMRS and how do I sign up? What incidents do I have to report for CORE?

NIMRS stands for the New York State Incident Management and Reporting System. NIMRS is a secure, web-based, quality management tool used by OMH-hosted providers to report incidents. Incident Reporting and Management Guidance for CORE and BH HCBS was issued via the BH HCBS Listserv on 12/13/21 and was effective immediately. Additional information for OMH-hosted providers can be found on the Division of Quality Management website.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

What are non-billable contacts related to CORE, do I need to document those?

Non-billable contacts, for example outreach to disengaged members, appointment reminders, or contacts that do not reach minimum service duration, are critical to engaging the person in CORE services. These contacts are documented in a contact log, case note, or non-billable progress note. Providers have some discretion in which non-billable contacts are documented. For example, routine appointment reminder calls or texts might not be documented, but a letter attempting to outreach to a disengaged individual should be noted.

Documentation on non-billable contacts helps demonstrate the quality of services provided and is particularly helpful during times of staff-turnover.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Do we need to make changes in our Electronic Health Record (EHR) or Electronic Billing Software (EBS) in order to meet the documentation requirements for CORE?

In developing documentation requirements for CORE Services, the State used the 2016 BH HCBS Behavioral Health Information Technology (BHIT) technical specifications as a guide. The intent was to minimize disruption or changes to existing software. The State will issue updated technical specifications that will support agencies in making any needed changes, including new modifiers and rate codes that will need to be added for certain services.

For the CORE Case Record, form fields can be named/labeled differently as long as all required elements are included in the content of the documentation to support appropriate billing.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

What are the allowable service combinations for CORE?

CORE Services may be provided in combination with a variety of BH HCBS and State Plan services, like PROS or Outpatient Clinic. For more information on specifical allowable service combinations, please refer to the allowable service combination charts in the Benefit and Billing Guidance (pgs. 13-14).

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Dec 2021

Can NMT be used to get a participant to a BH HCBS/CORE service at an agency site?

No, BH HCBS/ CORE Services are intended to be primarily home and community based. NMT is only available for transportation to community locations. Refer to NMT Guidance for additional information on how this benefit can be accessed.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Feb 2022

If the HARP eligible client is enrolled in FST under CORE can their children receive FST services as collaterals?

The only person receiving services is the HARP enrolled/eligible person. The role of the Collateral is to provide support in helping the HARP member achieve their goals. In some circumstances, the HARP member can also ask FST provider to provide psychoeducation. Ultimately the HARP member is the client, and they identify their family of choice (who do not have to be 21+). 

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Feb 2022

Can a CORE Provider meet with an individual who is inpatient in the hospital to begin an intake? Does it make a difference if the hospitalization is for behavioral health or medical reasons?

Yes, it is appropriate to meet with an individual to begin intake if they are hospitalized for BH or medical reasons. This practice will support strong engagement through a warm handoff.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Feb 2022

Can a LMSW who does not have a NPI complete the LPHA Recommendation Form for CORE?

An LMSW practicing under the supervision of an LCSW, licensed psychologist, or licensed psychiatrist is qualified to complete the LPHA Recommendation Form, even if they do not have an NPI. In this case, the LMSW should enter their license number on the recommendation and indicate on the form that a license number has been used instead. Please note that all Medicaid practitioners including Certified Peers and LMSW can apply to get an individual NPI at https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Administrative-Simplification/NationalProvIdentStand/apply

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Feb 2022

Will OPWDD HCBS waivered enrolled individuals be eligible for CORE Services?

OPWDD HCBS waiver enrolled individuals are not able to be enrolled in a HARP/HIVSNP and therefore cannot access CORE Services. OPWDD waiver enrollees have access to similar services. For more information about the OPWDD waiver services please visit https://opwdd.ny.gov/types-services

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Feb 2022

Is there a centralized list of current CORE Services providers?

A list of Designated CORE Service Providers is located on the CORE Website



Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Feb 2022

Will existing CORE providers have the opportunity to add new services to their designations?

The State anticipates accepting expansion applications from existing CORE providers in the coming months. Interested providers should contact the mailbox to discuss the process.

Source: OMH & OASAS CORE FAQ Feb 2022