[Correction] AB 2608 Passes California Legislature: Reauthorizes SB 231 and Expands Transportation Billing for LEAs

This news item has been corrected to reflect an effective date of January 1, 2013 for the new statute. On August 28, AB 2608 (Bonilla, 2012) passed the California legislature and will soon be chaptered into law. This bill garnered bi-partisan support in part due to major changes that will allow schools to recover more federal reimbursements for eligible transportation services provided under the LEA Billing Option program.

 

Slated to take effect on January 1, 2012, this new law:

  1. reauthorizes and makes permanent the tenets of SB 231which seek to enhance the LEA Billing Option Program.
  2. adds a new requirement that DHCS submit an annual accounting of the $1.5 million in Recovery Account funds, taken throughout the year via a 2.5% proportionate withhold from LEA claims, which pay for the state contractor fee.
  3. expands the reach of transportation billing under the LEA Billing Option program in California by eliminating the requirement that the student be transported in a wheelchair.

 

The most impactful change for California LEAs related to the expansion of transportation billing under the LEA BIlling Option program. AB 2608 will change Section 14132.06 of the Welfare and Institutions Code (which specifies LEA-provided health services that are billable as Medi-Cal covered benefits) to read:

Section 14132.06(f)(2)
(2) Medical transportation.
(A) The following provisions shall not apply to medical transportation eligible to be billed under this section:
(i) Section 51323(a)(2)(A) of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations.
(ii) Section 51323(a)(3)(B) of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations.
(iii) For students whose medical or physical condition does not require the use of a gurney, Section 51231.1(f) of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations.
(iv) For students whose medical or physical condition does not require the use of a wheelchair, Section 51231.2(e) of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations.
(B) (i) Subparagraph (A) shall become inoperative on January 1, 2018, or on the date the director executes a declaration stating that the regulations implementing subparagraph (A) and Section 14118.5 have been updated, whichever is later.
(ii) The department shall post the declaration executed under clause (i) on its Internet Web site and transmit a copy of the declaration to the Assembly Committee on Budget and the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review and the LEA Ad Hoc Workgroup.
(iii) If subparagraph (A) becomes inoperative on January 1, 2018, subparagraph (A) and this subparagraph shall be inoperative on January 1, 2018, unless a later enacted statute enacted before that date, deletes or extends that date.
(iv) If subparagraph (A) becomes inoperative on the date the director executes a declaration as described in clause (i), subparagraph (A) and this subparagraph shall be inoperative on the January 1 immediately following the date subparagraph (A) becomes inoperative, unless a later enacted statute enacted before that date, deletes or extends that date.

 

Further guidance on how the new law will translate into expanded billing opportunities for LEAs is expected from the California Department of Health Care Services. As written, it appears as if this paves the way for schools to begin billing all eligible transportation services when these services are outlined in a student’s IEP, that student is receiving a Medi-Cal eligible service on the day of transportation, transportation is provided in a specialized vehicle, and all required backup documentation is maintained.

Paradigm’s LEA Billing Option program clients will receive additional information regarding the procedural implementation of expanded billing for transportation services as soon as this is made clear.

Read More

Read the final bill language, as enrolled and awaiting signature from the Governor…

Read complete analysis of the Transportation Billing in California policy issue…

Read our previous news post on AB 2608…