Last week in Denver, the Office of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper opened the state's Medicaid Academy with CSH as the trainer of 11 Supportive Housing agencies. In order to leverage existing resources, CSH is helping supportive housing providers in Colorado understand and navigate the requirements of becoming Medicaid billers through the behavioral health system.
The majority of individuals who need and do not yet have supportive housing in Colorado are homeless and/or living in institutions. Most have behavioral health care needs and lack access to preventative and ongoing healthcare services. The health care that is most accessible to them is often in the form of expensive, emergency responses that have high costs and don’t result in long-term health improvements. As a result, state Medicaid costs go up, and people with housing instability and the most complex health conditions continue to have unmet needs.
Supportive housing service providers in Colorado know supportive housing is the solution. These providers help people access and remain in housing. Supportive housing is a platform from which people can access and receive the services they need to stabilize their lives.
Nearly everyone who needs supportive housing in Colorado is now Medicaid-eligible as a result of the state’s Medicaid expansion.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have identified housing stabilization services as eligible services under Medicaid. Supportive housing service providers in Colorado want to learn to provide and document supportive housing services in a way that is covered by Medicaid. Doing so will both increase their ability to serve more people and allow the state and behavioral health managed care organizations to provide additional strategic interventions for people with the greatest needs.
Becoming a Medicaid biller requires agencies to align the work they do with strict requirements related to service-delivery and documentation. Through the Academy, CSH is training supportive housing providers on the technical aspects of billing Medicaid to ensure they have the capacity to expand and enhance the delivery of supportive housing services.
The Colorado Academy opening included two days of in-person training last week. Going forward, it will consist of five online self-paced, tutorials, two additional days of in-person training in late September, and likely one or more additional sessions in November and then February 2017. The Academy also includes agency-specific one-on-one technical assistance provided by CSH.
Learn more (read background materials by clicking links below):