CMS Approves California’s SMAA Program Manual

On Thursday, November 10, DHCS released the final CMS approved manual and invoice template for the School-Based Medi-Cal Administrative Activities (SMAA) program.

The new manual is effective back to January 2015, covering the first quarters that California LEAs began using the Random Moment Time Survey (RMTS) method for the SMAA program. The first RMTS claims, for fiscal year 2014-15 Q3, are due to the state by December 30, 2016.

While largely similar to the original 2014-15 SMAA manual, published in June 2014, some programmatic and technical changes have been made. These include:

  • Confirmation of DHCS’ existing policy (PPL 15-011) which prohibits reimbursement for SMAA activities related to the development of, or during, an IEP (page 4-8)
  • Consolidation of Code 19 into Code 17, which will not count against compliance (page 5-15)
  • Confirmation that the 85% compliance requirements are by RMTS universe, not individual claiming unit (page 6-14)
  • LEAs will have until the last business day of the quarter to certify Paid Time Off (PTO) for any Time Survey Participants (TSPs) who had non-response moments during the quarter (page 6-14)
  • New enhanced reimbursement rate of 75% for Medi-Cal translation activities (page 2-1)


DHCS will publish the new SMAA manual to their website in the coming days. When it is up, it will be available online here.