RMTS for California’s School MAA Program – Closed in January 2015


On June 27, 2014, California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) received conditional approval from federal CMS for a new state plan for the school Medi-Cal administrative activities (MAA) program. This new plan utilizes a new method of capturing reimbursable time and costs called Random Moment Time Sampling (RMTS), which schools implemented on January 1, 2015.

Issue Analysis 

California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has been looking into the application of the random moment time sampling (RMTS) method for school Medi-Cal administrative claiming since 2011. RMTS is a federally approved method of capturing time data and is used in school and county agency Medicaid billing programs in many states. It samples individual minutes of time across fiscal quarters to generate statistically significant time results, making participant documentation fast and easy.

Following a federal review and subsequent deferral of pending school-based Medi-Cal administrative activities (MAA) claims in June of 2012 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), DHCS was required to submit a new claiming methodology for use in the MAA program moving forward.

California’s new MAA claiming plan was originally scheduled for implementation on July 1, 2014, but an extension was approved through the following January. On June 27, 2014, California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) received conditional approval from federal CMS for the new MAA program, paving the way for implementation on January 1, 2015.

LEAs in California began using the RMTS time study methodology for the school-based Medicaid administrative claiming program on January 1, 2015. DHCS has created opportunities for select stakeholders to engage in the implementation process, identifying issues, and discussing solutions throughout the first year of implementation. RMTS materials can be found on the DHCS SMAA website.

Success of the RMTS in California is doubly important as a condition of resolving thousands of deferred MAA claims was that California also move their direct Medicaid billing program to the RMTS platform with an effective date of July 1, 2015.

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