School Based-ACCESS Program (SBAP) for Special Education Health Related Services and Medical Assistance (MA)Some students may receive health related services as part of their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Examples of these services may include Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy (among others). These services must relate to how the student accesses the school environment. Parents may be asked at their child’s IEP meeting to sign a form that gives the school district permission to bill the Medical Assistance (MA) Program for these services provided as part of their child’s educational program. When a parent signs this form, it in no way counts toward a “cap” or limit on the services that student may receive from the MA Program, nor does it discontinue any services that child receives outside of school. The health related services a student receives through the School Based-ACCESS Program (SBAP) are separate from the services that student receives outside of the school setting. Although both types of service are billed through the MA Program, SBAP services are clearly identified in scope and duration in a student’s IEP while medically necessary MA services provided outside of the school setting have a different scope / duration than SBAP services.
When a parent provides permission for the school district to bill MA, this helps the school district recoup some of the cost of the health related service. For example, the school district contracts with an outside agency to provide Physical and Occupational Therapy services and when a parent permits the district to bill MA, this helps offset the cost of the service. Parents do have the right to refuse to sign the parental notification form and not allow the school district to bill the MA Program for SBAP services.Additional information about the MA Program and SBAP can be obtained by contacting the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.