Medi-Cal Update

Long Term Care | July 2020 | Bulletin 521

Print Medi-Cal Update Print Icon

1. Reimbursement for Associate Clinical Social Worker and Associate Marriage and Family Therapist Services for FQHCs and RHCs

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have approved State Plan Amendment (SPA) 20-0024, which temporarily adds Associate Clinical Social Worker (ACSW) and Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT) services at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) as billable visits. ACSWs and AMFTs are not licensed practitioners, per the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Therefore, services are billed under the supervising licensed, billable behavioral health practitioner of the FQHC or RHC. The licensed behavioral health practitioners must supervise and assume the professional liability of services furnished by the unlicensed ACSWs and AMFTs. Additionally, the licensed practitioner must also comply with supervision requirements established by the Board of Behavioral Sciences.

During the public health emergency declaration, an FQHC or RHC can be reimbursed at the Prospective Payment System (PPS) rate for a visit between a FQHC or RHC patient and an ACSW or AMFT. The visit may be conducted as a face-to-face encounter or, if it meets all relevant requirements, via telehealth.

Payment for ACSW or AMFT services is as follows:

Please refer to the Federally Qualified Health Centers/Rural Health Clinics Provider Manuals for additional billing guidelines.

Print Article | Return to Top

2. New Policy Changes to the Hospital Presumptive Eligibility Program

As California continues to respond to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Hospital Presumptive Eligibility (HPE) Program will temporarily expand presumptive eligibility (PE) coverage to a new coverage group of individuals who are 65 or older and whose income is below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty level (FPL), effective immediately. This new coverage group is referred to as the “Aged” HPE group. This coverage group is allowed two (2) periods of PE in a twelve-month period and will be assigned aid code 7D. This expansion will be in effect through the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

DHCS is also expanding presumptive eligibility periods through HPE for adults that are age 19 years and over. HPE will now provide two (2) periods of presumptive eligibility in a twelve-month period for adults age 19 and over. This change is effective immediately and will be in effect through the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

DHCS has received federal approval on these new policy changes through California State Plan Amendment 20-0024.

It is critical that HPE Providers monitor the Hospital PE Program Medi-Cal website for future articles and materials scheduled to publish during May and June 2020.

Questions concerning the HPE expansion should be sent to

Print Article | Return to Top

3. New Medi-Cal Provider Website: Bookmarks, Community Pages and News Articles

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) reminds providers to bookmark their specific provider community page(s) for each of the provider communities they render services and benefits to as part of the Medi-Cal program. Each of the current and available 25 provider community-dedicated web pages are listed below with direct links to each web page.

Providers are also encouraged to reference the Navigating Medi-Cal and Specialty Programs chart to help identify the specific provider communities they each align to, as well as to locate which claim form(s) each provider community utilizes for billing.

Provider Community web pages serve as primary source for Medi-Cal News, Provider Bulletins, Provider Manuals, References and Featured Links.

Within each provider community web page, providers will find the following principal information resources:

Provider Community-Dedicated Web Pages
The following is a complete list of the 25 current and available provider community-dedicated web pages:

Allied Health – Provider Communities
Acupuncture Audiology and Hearing Aids
Chiropractic Durable Medical Equipment and Medical Supplies
Medical Transportation Orthotics and Prosthetics
Psychological Services Therapies

Inpatient/Outpatient – Provider Communities
AIDS Waiver Program Chronic Dialysis Clinics
Clinics and Hospitals Community-Based Adult Services
Heroin Detoxification Home Health Agencies/Home and Community-Based Services
Hospice Care Program Inpatient Services
Local Educational Agency Multipurpose Senior Services Program
Rehabilitation Services  

Long Term Care – Provider Community
Long Term Care

Medical Services – Provider Communities
General Medicine Obstetrics

Pharmacy – Provider Community

Vision Care – Provider Community
Vision Care

Family PACT – Provider Community
Family Planning, Access, Care and Treatment
Print Article | Return to Top

4. September 2020 Medi-Cal Provider Seminar

The September Medi-Cal provider seminar is scheduled for September 15 – 16, 2020, at the Long Beach Marriott Hotel in Long Beach, California. Providers can access a class schedule for the seminar by visiting the Provider Training web page of the Medi-Cal Learning Portal (MLP) and clicking the seminar date(s) they would like to attend. Providers may RSVP by logging in to the MLP.

Throughout the year, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and the California MMIS Fiscal Intermediary, conduct Medi-Cal training seminars. These seminars, which target both novice and experienced providers and billing staff, cover the following topics:

Providers must register by August 28, 2020, to receive a hard copy of the Medi-Cal provider training workbooks on the date(s) of training. After August 28, 2020, the workbooks will be available only by download on the Medi-Cal Provider Training Workbooks web page of the Medi-Cal Provider website.


Wi-Fi will not be provided at the seminar. Please plan accordingly.

Providers that require more in-depth claim and billing information have the option to receive one-on-one claims assistance, which is available at all seminars, in the Claims Assistance Room.

Providers may also schedule a custom billing workshop. To contact the regional representative for your area, providers must first contact the Telephone Service Center (TSC) at 1-800-541-5555 and request to be contacted by a regional representative.

Providers are encouraged to bookmark the Provider Training page and refer to it often for current seminar information.

Print Article | Return to Top

5. Get the Latest Medi-Cal News: Subscribe to MCSS Today

The Medi-Cal Subscription Service (MCSS) is a free service that keeps you up-to-date on the latest Medi-Cal news. Subscribers receive subject-specific emails shortly after urgent announcements and other updates post on the Medi-Cal website.

Subscribing is simple and free!

  1. Go to the MCSS Subscriber Form

  2. Enter your email address and ZIP code and select a subscriber type

  3. Customize your subscription by selecting subject areas for NewsFlash announcements, Medi-Cal Update bulletins and/or System Status Alerts

After submitting the form, a welcome email will be sent to the provided email address. If you are unable to locate the welcome email in your inbox, check your junk email folder.

For more information about MCSS, please visit the MCSS Help page.

Print Article | Return to Top

If you cannot view the MS Word or PDF (Portable Document Format) documents correctly, please visit the Web Tool Box to link to a download site for the appropriate reader.