D1. Are schools required to obtain parental consent prior to billing Medicaid for SHARS services?

Yes, Section 300.154(d) of the reauthorized IDEA 2004 requires districts to obtain informed parental consent. More guidance on this issue may be found at: Parental Consent for Medicaid Services.

D2. Is it required to obtain parental consent in order for the district to bill Medicaid under the SHARS program?

Schools must obtain parental consent to bill Medicaid for the specific services and the frequency as outlined in the child’s current ARD/IEP.

D3. Ideally, the parent will sign the parental consent form at the time of the ARD meeting. If the parent does not attend the ARD, can the district contact the parent by mail or phone?

Because the consent must be written, a phone call could only be used as a means for arranging an alternative time to sign the consent.

D4. If a district sends a parent the Medicaid consent form to sign by mail because he/she did not attend the ARD meeting, but the form is never signed and returned to the district by the parent, has the district done its part to inform the parent? In this scenario, would the district be allowed to submit claims for reimbursement?

No, the burden is on the district to obtain the parental consent form as required by IDEA. If the consent form is not obtained the service and the associated cost is a disallowed cost.

D5. In addition to asking parental permission to bill Medicaid for student-specific services, do you have any suggestions on what to include in the letter?

It may be reassuring to let parents know that:

  • billing Medicaid is not a new process
  • SHARS is reimbursement money to the schools
  • their child’s ability to receive services outside of the school setting will not be impacted
  • SHARS is a program under EPSDT and is not subject to any type of limit or “cap” on services
  • they can withdraw permission at any time