Newsletter August 2020

Finance - Provider Stabilization 

Leslie Thomas, MBA, CPA
Chief Financial Officer

MSHN’s Finance Team has been working diligently to support its Community Mental Health Services Programs (CMHSPs) and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) providers. MSHN has developed regional guidance based on MDHHS and Governor issued mandates related the following:

  • Direct Care Worker (DCW) Wage Increases – As reported in June Board Newsletter, per legislative mandate MSHN’s regional guidance outlines distribution of $2 per hour increase for DCW workers providing in person residential services and fund an additional 12% to cover administrative items such as taxes. The DCW premium pay funding was initially set to expire on June 30, 2020 but has since been approved through the end of this fiscal year (September 30, 2020). The legislative mandate also includes premium pay distribution to SAPT Residential and Withdrawal Management programs in the same manner as CMHSP DCW. Further, MSHN is reimbursing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) expenses purchased in the identified settings. MDHHS has funded MSHN’s region for DCW premium pay through June 30, 2020. The last quarter will be funded prior to the end of this fiscal year.
  • SAPT Provider Network Fiscal Assistance – MSHN issued over $1.5 M to its SAPT network since April to ensure continued operations and stabilize the network for the provision of ongoing consumer service needs. Granting of funds were contingent on completion of a cash advance request form, reasonableness determination of the amount requested, and continuation of rendering medically necessary services. Providers receiving other federal funding to cover the same expenses and same period are not eligible for a MSHN stabilization payment. MDHHS has made no provisions for the provider stabilization payments as the expectation is to use current per eligible per month (PEPM) dollars as needed. MSHN financial position is sufficient to utilize current year funding for meeting stabilization payment needs.

In addition to the funding measures above, MDHHS and Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) relaxed rules associated with telehealth service delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Typical telehealth services require two-way communication consisting of audio and video between the clinician and consumer. The relaxed rules allow audio only telehealth which means a simple phone call to a consumer is acceptable for service delivery. The relaxed standards have allowed clinicians, peers, and consumers to safely engage in treatment. 

For additional information, please contact Leslie at