From $6K to $100K in Medicaid Reimbursements
How Putnam County School District uses Frontline Medicaid & Service Management to log services, easily access records, and remove human error from the Medicaid reimbursement process.
Product & Solutions
Nearly 2,200 of the 10,500 students in Putnam County School District (PCSD) are students with disabilities, says Andrew Burnett, Director of Exceptional Student Education. PCSD is a growing Title I district, consolidating schools with plans for nine new buildings over the next ten years. With each passing year, they expect even more students in need of extra support.
Andrew and his team have worked over the last 6 or 7 years to update how they manage and track the services provided to ESE students. The district uses Frontline Medicaid & Service Management to keep track of services provided and to bill for Medicaid reimbursement, but prior to 2016, the district wasn’t taking full advantage of the service tracking capabilities of the solution.
“Back then, there was a person who wasn’t even in my department who was getting a stipend to take care of everything after they did their normal job. That just wasn’t working for me,” says Andrew.
Therapists and service providers only logged billable services in the system, and as a result, some billable services were overlooked. District-wide Medicaid reimbursements totaled approximately $6,000 per year.
It was sometimes difficult to provide proof of service delivery if a parent or advocate questioned the delivery of a specific service. “We had a situation when I first became director where a parent had a complaint, and I had to track down pieces of paper to try and figure out when a kid had speech service,” says Andrew. “It almost took me two weeks to go back and see when they may have had it. I was like, ‘I will never do this again. There has got to be a better way.’”
The ESE team decided to require service providers to log every service provided in the system, regardless of whether it’s billable or not. It made a huge difference.
More Complete Medicaid Recoupment
“I believe one thing that has helped us is that we use Frontline as our tracking and logging system for all our related services, from physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech, mental wellness, any of those things. The logging process is through the system. When we do it that way, we don’t lose any revenue because it’s all in there. Frontline catches everything,” says Kathy Plymel, the Secretary for the Department of Exceptional Student Education at PCSD.
Providers sometimes overlooked billable services in the past, but now it’s all captured in the system. The impact on Medicaid reimbursement has been stunning. “In 2016 and 2017, we probably got about $6,000, and we’re up to roughly $100,000 now.”
“In 2016 and 2017, we probably got about $6,000, and we’re up to roughly $100,000 now.”
– Secretary, Department of Exceptional Student Education
Easily Accessible Records
Andrew says that quickly being able to identify what services have been provided is helpful when working with parents. “When we have a parent who calls and says, ‘My child hasn’t been seen,’ we can quickly pull those reports and say, ‘Your child has been seen every Tuesday for the last month, and here are the times and the dates.’”
“It really helps when we have advocates call, and they say, ‘This kid’s not getting speech services.’ [I say], ‘Can I send you something over in 10 minutes?’ That shows you when they have, and that really changes the conversation around that process.”
– Director of Exceptional Student Education
Tools for Service Providers
Kathy says they’ve had no complaints from providers about using the system. One occupational therapist says she loves the system because it flags when IEPs are out of date. “She can say, ‘We’ve got to meet about this kid before this date,’ and it helps her keep track of all of those little things, not just revenue part, but making sure their plans stay up to date.”
It also fosters accountability. “The way the calendar works, if they don’t deliver the service, it gives them a red flag. ‘Why didn’t you deliver the service?’ The accountability part of it is really helpful.”
Being able to generate reports quickly helps Andrew justify staffing requests to the board, and Kathy can quickly stay compliant with Medicaid record requests. “It just saves us so much time and effort and manpower to go ahead and have everything right there on the computer. It’s right there. There are four or five of us who can pull those reports immediately,” says Kathy.
“The convenience of it, it’s just so easy as far as the reporting goes. It’s easy for us to track and know what’s been done and what hasn’t been done.”
– Director of Exceptional Student Education
From increased Medicaid reimbursement to tools and accountability for service providers to data and reports on demand, Putnam County School District’s ESE program is working well with Frontline. And, Kathy says, if she needs support, she knows she’ll get it. “April is fantastic,” she says, speaking of her Frontline client manager. “[Frontline] has always been very helpful with any issue or request we have.”